According to Gartner’s annual CIO survey cloud and infrastructure/data centre are in the top four technology priorities for discretionary spending by CIOs in Australia in 2015.
As Gartner research director Michael Warrilow wrote recently, with cost optimisation a big focus this year “…organisations want to have more flexibility and agility by moving away from fixed costs, which is one reason why cloud rates so highly.” Indeed, in Gartner research, agility is cited as the main reason for cloud investment to respond to changing business needs, rating above scalability, cost reduction and innovation.
Data centre colocation services that can be quickly provisioned in a similar way to the cloud with short-term contracts, gives customers a faster way to access the full benefits of modern data centres and their in-house ecosystems of carriers and IT service providers – a flexible, low-latency environment for their IT deployment.
When an ecosystem is combined with the flexible interconnect and carrier infrastructure available from next-generation colocation providers, they allow a company’s IT assets to be unified in a single integrated network to better align with the way they consume cloud services.
“With cloud a higher priority in Australia, multi-sourcing is shaping as one of the big questions for how businesses manage multiple cloud providers with traditional environments and across a range of infrastructure technologies,” continues Mr Warrilow. “This is where cost optimisation and IT financial management is coming back to the fore.”
Because of this fluctuating blend of technical, commercial, and operational models, a mixture of colocation and cloud in the one data centre has become a key enabler for further cloud utilisation and harmonising private and public cloud deployments. It also allows companies to reap the full benefits of adding a public cloud while avoiding the negative impact of multiple environments and connectivity costs.
“Australian organisations are also focusing on modernising data centre strategy and architecture to move towards more fluid infrastructure. They are looking at moving the focus from workload to workflow and on ‘what’ rather than ‘where’ it operates – whether on-premise in a data centre, co-location, in the cloud or with an outsourcer.”
For organisations to achieve true interoperability between cloud and traditional models they must integrate existing systems into a single management structure. One of the key solutions being promoted by the IT industry to meet these demands for highly integrated, connected and agile ICT is the software-defined data centre (SDDC), which unifies existing and emerging technologies to ensure the most efficient use of data centre resources by utilising specialised software to manage infrastructure with minimum human involvement.
For more thought-provoking material on the future of data centres and hybrid cloud, please access NEXTDC’s whitepaper portfolio; and a recent article from NEXTDC CEO Craig Scroggie on The challenge of the software-defined data centre.
Gain more insights from Gartner with the executive summary of their 2015 CIO survey (http://www.gartner.com/technology/cio/cioagenda.jsp), and their newsroom update Australian organisations taking a strategic approach to cloud infrastructure (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3024218).