By Guy Warren, CEO at ITRS Group
Adoption of cloud computing has sky-rocketed in recent yaears as industries continue their rapid digitalisation. And 2022 has seen this trend continue.
As businesses seek to get the best of both worlds when it comes to on-premise and cloud computing, 2022 has seen the continued rise of the hybrid IT model. This refers to a blend that utilises both on-premise servers and cloud IT, where applications are either using both platforms to deliver their workload, or a cloud-based application is connected to an on-premise application for further processing. Whilst this provides greater flexibility, it has thrown up significant challenges for businesses when it comes to the effective monitoring of the entire hybrid estate.
As the need for greater agility, flexibility and scalability has risen alongside quickly evolving customer expectations, 2022 has cemented hybrid IT as the preferred option for businesses. Research shows that 82% of businesses globally have adopted hybrid cloud solutions, a remarkable uptake given that prior to the pandemic in 2020, cloud computing was still not the norm for the vast majority of businesses.
An on-premise evolution
The rise of cloud computing has in one sense been about practicality. With the deployment of new applications in the cloud, operating a hybrid model has allowed businesses to manage the migration from the on-premise estate gradually.
Due to each platform’s particular capabilities, certain applications are better suited to the cloud whilst others are better run on-premise. For example, financial exchanges require low latency networks for trading due to microsecond delays impacting profitability per transaction, meaning it’s better for this type of business-critical infrastructure to be managed on-premise.
Whereas the cloud is far more scalable, meaning that if financial institutions are expecting a surge in demand, businesses are capable of easily scaling up to meet this service level.
But whilst businesses are in no doubt of the long-term benefits of this migration to a hybrid model and embracing the value delivered by a blend of cloud computing and on-premise estates, 2022 has seen many begin to struggle with the cost of this transition, which is often overlooked at the outset.
A tailored approach to cloud computing
The answer is to use a renting model for cloud computing or businesses could easily end up with far more capacity than they’ll ever need: a one size fits all approach is simply not an option when it comes to managing and monitoring cloud computing.
In most cases, unexpected costs are rooted in a lack of understanding when it comes to the management and monitoring of cloud computing, and how it differs from on-premise estates.
Relying on over-sizing to avoid running out of capacity works fine for on-premise but is unnecessarily wasteful when it comes to cloud computing. The number of firms spending at least $12 million on cloud computing annually has nearly doubled in 2022, with 30% of that capacity going to waste.
The two challenges that we’ve seen surface in the last year around cloud computing both relate to capacity management.
Businesses could end up paying excessively for their cloud estate, or they could underestimate their capacity needs and throttle the throughput on that application. Going into 2023, businesses must start to think more strategically about the size they need, which, with the complexity of IT estates today, can only be achieved with effective analysis by a capacity management tool.
A solution fit for purpose
As cloud computing continues to be rapidly adopted around the world, businesses must also consider the ways in which it makes their estates more complex.
Maximising strong operational resilience has never been more important, especially as 2022 also saw the commencement and formalisation of both the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new regulations to crack down on firms resilience and the EU’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA).
With these new regulations – and laws – in mind, businesses need to be able to demonstrate that they have the right monitoring technology in place to mitigate downtime, and exceptions won’t be made for newly migrated systems that are still working out the best way to monitor their increasingly complex estate.
To mitigate this challenge, businesses need to find a unified monitoring solution.
Gone are the days when having one monitoring solution for storage, another for application performance and another for networks, as this prevents teams from obtaining the end-to-end observability required to keep a system operating effectively. A single bird’s eye view will not only help businesses understand the capacity of their estates; but should a problem occur, it will make it easier to get to the source of it in a time acceptable to the regulator – and your customers.
As more and more businesses incorporate cloud computing into their service, businesses must be prepared to invest in the right monitoring tools to ensure they can manage them effectively and efficiently. As cloud computing continues its rapid evolution, the tools used to monitor and manage it must too.