How to Overcome Hybrid IT’s Common Challenges

Recent times have seen almost every business become infatuated with the great allure of the cloud and its many benefits. As a result, we have seen organisations of all shapes and sizes make systems migration a priority. According to the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organisation, 92 percent of organisations surveyed have migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year.

However, amidst the rush to migrate systems infrastructure up and out of the data centre, it is clear that challenges associated with the cloud and hybrid IT are beginning to emerge and cause issues for many businesses. It is essential that organisations and IT professionals now take note and learn from these common challenges, so they can benefit from their hybrid IT experience.

Here are three of the most recurrent challenges that we are now seeing in systems migration, and, of course, how to overcome them:

Don’t run before you can walk

The SolarWinds IT Trends Report found that 22 percent of U.K. IT professionals surveyed have had to bring back on-premises applications and infrastructure that had previously been migrated to the cloud. With the primary reasons for doing so ranging from security and compliance concerns to worsened performance, it would appear that some IT professionals are getting a little overexcited, hurriedly migrating their systems to the cloud without predetermining whether or not the cloud will provide any real benefit. But using the cloud to enhance services is the whole point, right?

Pre-testing, for both performance and security impacts, should always be fundamental to any migration strategy. A comprehensive monitoring toolset that provides visibility into both on-premises systems and the cloud is crucial to accurately determining how any workload, application, or piece of infrastructure will perform in the cloud. This is because monitoring will establish baseline performance metrics that can be used to quickly conclude where a workload is best suited.

Visibility can replace authority

Hybrid IT environments have opened up a whole new world of benefits to IT professionals. However, there is one major issue that is fundamentally changing how they can operate. The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017 found that the number one challenge created by hybrid IT is a lack of control and visibility into the performance of cloud-based infrastructure. This issue is not only damaging the effectiveness of hybrid IT environments but is also a massive barrier to migration for organisations that remain solely on-premises.

When a performance issue occurs in an on-premises environment, IT professionals are blessed with the authority to freely search for its root cause. Whereas in hybrid IT environments, it is problematic to determine where accountability lies and where to point the finger. As an internal IT professional, you may be confident that everything is okay on your end, but the cloud service provider (CSP) may claim the same.

To overcome this challenge, IT professionals must adapt and learn that visibility can replace authority. But to achieve clarity, and ultimately control, it is critical to perform comprehensive hybrid IT monitoring. This will help you to truly understand how workloads are performing in the cloud, and why they are performing that way.

Empowered by the ability to see the cause of the issue, you can then accurately and confidently communicate it to the CSP. This will not only resolve the issue faster but also make sure that relations between internal IT professionals and CSPs are strengthened, helping to ensure system uptime and the creation of lifelong friendships.

A culture of continuous learning

In today’s on-demand world, no matter whether an application service is hosted on-premises or in the cloud, the end-user will always expect to receive a speedy and high-quality experience. But this level of service can only be guaranteed if the IT professional tasked with managing the environment has a comprehensive understanding of the technology they are working with.

[clickToTweet tweet=”According to a report, 45 percent of those surveyed do not believe that #IT professionals entering the workforce today possess the #skills necessary to manage #hybridIT environments. #Cloud” quote=”According to the IT Trends Report, 45 percent of those surveyed do not believe that IT professionals entering the workforce today possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments.”]

It may come as a surprise, but in hybrid IT environments, this isn’t always the case. Cloud technologies have brought with them an added degree of complexity that many IT professionals did not prepare for. According to the IT Trends Report, 45 percent of those surveyed do not believe that IT professionals entering the workforce today possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments. But this doesn’t mean that we are all doomed. Learning on the job isn’t exactly a new concept, nor is it anything to be scared of. This applies to the most seasoned IT professionals, as well as the greenest.

It is therefore now crucial for businesses and IT professionals to help ensure that they are prioritising the development of meaningful, usable skills within a workplace culture of continuous learning. This will make not only sure that the full potential of hybrid IT can be enjoyed, but also that future disruptive technologies are not all that disruptive.

Thrive in the new era of work

The cloud has marked the beginning of a new era of work, and nowhere is this truer than in the data centre. The rate of systems migration to the cloud is not looking to slow down anytime soon, and if these challenges are not addressed, then your organisation will most definitely be left behind.

Implementing the aforementioned solutions to overcome the everyday challenges of hybrid IT will go a long way in making sure that your business’s cloud strategy is built to last.

Leon Adato, Head Geek, SolarWinds

Leon Adato is a Head Geek and Technical Product Marketing Manager at SolarWinds, an IT management software provider based in Austin, Texas. Adato boasts more than 25 years of IT experience, including 14 years working with systems management, monitoring and automation solutions for servers, networks and the Web. Adato is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Cisco Certified Network Associate and SolarWinds Certified Professional. Prior to his role at SolarWinds, Adato served as a Senior Monitoring Consultant for Cardinal Health.

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