Intelligent Data Centres Issue 3 - Page 18

DATA CENTRE PREDICTIONS Julian Thomas, Principle Consultant at PBT Group centre services as an overall solution to the data conundrum. Of course, the migration journey of a data centre into the cloud for larger corporates or corporates that have been in existence for some time is a lengthy one and while it may be easier for a new business or a new department/system to take advantage of the cloud’s full benefits immediately, it’s important for businesses looking to move their data centre requirements into the cloud – no matter their size or years of operation – to be realistic about the transition. Moving core operations and systems into a new environment cannot happen overnight. A common misconception that used to exist when cloud was still in its inception, is that data can be unplugged from the on-premise data centre and plugged straight into the cloud. It obviously isn’t as simple as that. For this very reason, there is a growing acceptance by decision makers to follow a comprehensive business-first strategy before migrating services to the cloud, especially since technology-first adoption strategies have not always proved successful in recent years. Below are some of the influencing factors to a far more slow-paced transition: Technical challenges – Ground and prep work are undoubtedly crucial for a business to transition as seamlessly as possible. Moving a business’ core 18 Issue 03 infrastructure or the core integrated operations into a new platform cannot happen without disruption. Depending on the company size, it is important to phase transition to provide a ‘feel’ for the new environment and to reduce risk, which is why we can expect to see many corporates prioritise their newer businesses or less critical systems for the initial cloud migration. When a company moves a system to a new environment, it is important to have full scope of what that system is connected to and what the effects of disconnecting it or applying it into a new platform would be. Existing contracts – Contracts are arguably the biggest stumbling block for a business looking to venture into the cloud. By virtue of having an existing data centre in place, whether run internally or by a vendor, there are contracts in place for hardware, software and technical support. Quite often, businesses embark on cloud data centre migration initiatives as part of their cloud strategy, only to come up short when they realise that the extent of the existing contracts prevent them from moving systems for years, i.e. until an existing services and maintenance contract expires. The challenge then becomes how to co-ordinate the migration of core operating systems to the cloud, within a set time frame to conclude with the expiration of the existing contract. Complex implementation scenarios requiring parallel systems feeds, co-existence strategies, etc then become part of the challenge. WE CAN EXPECT A CONTINUED AND RENEWED FOCUS ON MOVING ON- PREMISE DATA INTO THE CLOUD ENVIRONMENT AND CONTINUED ADOPTION OF CLOUD-BASED DATA CENTRE SERVICES AS AN OVERALL SOLUTION TO THE DATA CONUNDRUM. Human resources – A business needs to consider the HR implications of retrenching or re-skilling existing staff that might be made redundant due to a wholesale migration of the IT data centre into the cloud. Regulation – Some companies, like those in the banking environment, were sceptical to adopt cloud given the ambiguity that existed around the growing need for local data centres as regulations have become stricter in the global and local environments related to personal information. As a result, we can expect to see some sectors experience a slower adoption journey while regulations like the Protection of Personal Information act (POPI) become more comprehensive.