A hybrid future calls for hybrid infrastructure: How businesses prosper with monitoring technologies

By Martin Hodgson, Director Northern Europe at Paessler AG.

  • 1 month ago Posted in

It’s becoming blatantly clear that businesses which offer flexible working models possess an advantage when it comes to attracting talent. In fact, recent research placed the UK as one of the top 3 regions where employees are more likely to quit if asked to increase their time in the office.


To add to this, earlier this month, the UK government announced changes in legislation that will give employees the legal right to request flexible working from their first day in a job. Against this backdrop, the 5-day office week appears to be firmly cemented in the past. Today’s business leaders are quickly realising that demanding constant ‘in-person’ attendance from their employees can result in higher turnover and economic loss.


However, a shift to a more hybrid way of working will require a change to a more flexible hybrid infrastructure. This presents a major hurdle for businesses that have previously relied heavily on legacy systems and architectures. Monitoring and safeguarding data across the home office and on-premises can present a significant challenge for those that are digitally unprepared. This is where the hybrid cloud comes in.


The benefits of hybrid


Hybrid cloud is a concept with multiple interpretations, but the most popular definition is when it refers to the use of both a private cloud and a public cloud in parallel, or a connection between the two.


Today, many companies operate their own cloud, a so-called “private cloud”. Should demand for computing resources temporarily spike, the company is able to scale its resources by outsourcing some of the processing to a public cloud. In this way, the company can scale its data centre to handle normal traffic loads rather than needing to invest in enough resources to handle peak loads. When demand drops down again, the organisation simply stops using the additional public cloud resources. Any sensitive data and applications stay in the company’s private cloud, whilst more menial processes are outsourced to the public cloud.


Hybrid cloud enables businesses to tackle the complexity of such data because it gives companies the ability to transition between on-site storage or the public cloud seamlessly, securing operations. However, despite the advantages of hybrid cloud, many organisations are hesitant to adopt it.


Prevention is better than cure


For many, it’s a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. After all, bringing old technologies up to date is usually quite an arduous process. Businesses often face a myriad of obstacles, including security, compliance, and software compatibility challenges. Similarly, IT teams are already inundated with day-to-day issues to resolve, from connectivity to data management. Sometimes, the thought of uprooting “tried and tested” IT processes that have been in place, and worked well for decades, seems like too much legwork.


However, times are changing and no matter how ambitious the transition, it’s better to address the challenges of any roadmap for digital transformation now, rather than facing the negative consequences later. Dealing with the aftermath of cyberattacks is far mostly consuming and costly than a pre-emptive approach, where operations are secured in the first instance. Similarly, addressing the employee desire to work flexibly today will help businesses in avoiding potential gaps in talent tomorrow.


Holistic awareness with monitoring


For businesses to confidently embrace a hybrid future, they need the infrastructure to match. Having an effective monitoring system in place – with centralised dashboards and alerting capabilities – can grant businesses a more holistic picture. It will bring data from all locations – the OT environment, IIoT sensors, wired and wireless networks, and traditional IT devices and systems under one umbrella.


When such monitoring is introduced, data from the private and public cloud as well as physical IT infrastructure can be easily viewed and streamlined. It grants full visibility, something that is more vital than ever as cybercriminals continue to evolve and grow in sophistication. Not only does monitoring promote watertight security, it also improves the employee experience, because it speeds up issue resolution.


To keep up with the demands of shapeshifting work models, business must consider software that enables information to be captured, contextualised, and evaluated across the entire IT network. In complex and hybrid IT environments, gaining an understanding of the connection between systems proves especially vital to identify issues ahead of time and minimise potential damages.


Businesses will only truly reap the rewards of a hybrid environment when it is paired with effective monitoring software. This will enable them to increase efficiencies and boost the employee experience, without compromising on security or compliance.

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