Hybrid IT infrastructure management and cloud migrations: understanding strengths & weaknesses of MSP's

nine Team Mar 6, 2018
Hybrid IT infrastructure management and cloud migrations: understanding strengths & weaknesses of MSP's

Many organisations have taken the plunge and moved all or part of their IT infrastructure to the cloud, boosting their efficiency, scalability, agility and flexibility. But moving to the cloud isn’t always plain sailing, believe me.

According to a recent SolarWinds public-sector survey, 96% of respondents reported moving applications and infrastructure to the cloud during the past year. But 29% brought some of these applications or infrastructure back on-premises due to security and compliance issues, poor performances or technical challenges.

Don’t get me wrong, the cloud is secure – often it is more secure than on-premises implementations. But for a smooth migration, you need to understand and maximize security in advance of the move.

The issue of hybrid

As a result of the increasingly hybrid world, when things go wrong with IT (it’s technology – of course they do!) it’s very difficult to find the root cause of the problem. Without complete visibility into all aspects of the network, it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

IT managers need an expansive network view that offers visibility into resources and applications, wherever they are. It must take into account everything in their networks including virtualisation, storage, applications, servers, cloud and internet providers, users and more.

This will help to not only be reactive to problems but proactive too. Managers can use predictive analytics to avoid issues altogether. By collecting and analysing all the network and systems data, IT managers can better predict when capacity problems and failures may happen through trends and anomalous patterns, and take steps to mitigate issues before they occur.  

The requirerd skills

To resolve these complex issues, the skills required for managing hybrid environments, webscale infrastructures and cybersecurity are among some of the most critical skills needed for the future. All organisations – including service providers – are struggling to ensure the right skills and capabilities to implement their client's cloud-first strategy and to assess, migrate, secure, manage and optimise their hybrid IT environments.

According to Gartner, 25% of the organisations they surveyed are already acquiring skills and capabilities to manage hyperscale public cloud, together with their existing data centre environments, and despite the limited number, the level of dissatisfied references is more relevant than for traditional environments (more than double the percentage of dissatisfied customers; see the figure below).

Satisfaction with hybrid IT infrastructure vendors

To combat the difficulty of ensuring the right skills, tools and processes to manage on a consistent, global scale, it’s important to evaluate traditional managed service providers and niche providers, focusing on specific use cases. I recommend checking formal evidence of skills and service capabilities, with contractual guarantees on delivery times and staff quality/quantity.

dissatisfied customers for providers of AWS and Azure skills

As a result, it’s no surprise that outsourcers are finding it hard to execute cloud-first project work (assess and migrate). This is resulting in serious problems with the customer’s initiative and the overall relationship. To resolve this issue, it’s imperative to compare managed service providers’ capabilities with specialised cloud migration providers using relevant market guides. You should also establish a clear SOW, governance, deliverables, time frames and decommissioning of existing costs.

As I said earlier, managing the IT infrastructure and cloud migration is no mean feat. There’s a lot to learn, but it’s important to get it right as the cloud is here to stay

If you want to chat further about the cloud or find out more about nine and how we can help you, please get in touch.

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