It is difficult to find an organisation that does not store at least some of its assets in the cloud. However, that does not mean that on-premises computing is a thing of the past. In fact, it still has an important role to play, and as such must be kept up-to-date.
According to research by Computing in which 131 IT leaders were surveyed, only 2 per cent of organisations have fully migrated to the cloud, with the rest taking a hybrid approach, combining cloud with on-premises. In fact, 36 per cent still mainly store their workloads on-premises and 66 per cent agree that on-premises computing still has a crucial role to play at their organisation.
While cloud computing offers many benefits, such as scalability and flexibility, and is particularly suited to smaller organisations without the resources to manage their data storage in-house, that does not mean it is the best option for all workloads.
The pros of on-prem
Server reliability, availability, serviceability, and low latency are essential for mission critical applications such as ERP, HCM and databases. Moving these to the cloud may risk costly downtime.
Some legacy applications have also been designed in a way that doesn't allow data to be migrated to the cloud easily or depend on important customisations, making a wholesale migration unsuitable due to the cost and complexity involved.
Furthermore, some regulations may require data to remain on-premises where organisations have greater control over who can access it.
While cloud computing has had the spotlight for some time now and organisations aspire to be "cloud first" or "cloud only", it is clear that some workloads are better suited to on-premises and, for some organisations, on-premises remains the safest and most cost-effective choice. It is therefore important that it is not overlooked in digital transformation strategies.
However, just as cloud migration alone is not enough to achieve business transformation, keeping workloads on-premises without regularly assessing whether they are performing at their best may mean organisations are missing out.
Sixty-two per cent of respondents say their organisation has modernised its on-premises hardware to keep pace with innovation. The fact that a third have not done so is concerning, and implies they are suffering poorer performance, reliability, energy efficiency and security. Without embracing up-to-date technology, organisations may get left behind or outcompeted.
With on-premises computing still having an important role to play, it is important that ageing datacentre hardware does not stand in the way of organisations operating flexibly and with agility. Seventy-five per cent agree high-performance reliable hardware is crucial to on-prem success, with just 5 per cent disagreeing.
It is vital that processors and supporting hardware platforms are efficient across all workloads. Without strong infrastructure in place, the benefits of keeping certain workloads on-premises will not be fully realised.
Beneath every computing workload, from edge to cloud, is hardware. Whether or not that environment fulfils its business objectives is dependent on performant, secure, and cost-effective hardware. How a data centre is structured and managed, how equipment is deployed, data hygiene as well as how often hardware is refreshed all contribute to this and should be regularly assessed to see if improvements can be made.
Organisations must regularly audit their on-premises infrastructure to determine whether they are getting the most for their data, whether they are benefitting from technological advances, and whether any updates are needed. By having a modernisation strategy in place for their IT infrastructure, organisations will maximise their investments, ensuring they can implement new ways of working without being slowed down by legacy hardware, and get the most of both cloud and on-premises.
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This post is sponsored by Intel.