Today’s Information specialists should focus their attention mostly on the operability of business application and the quality user experience, but many of them are thinking day in and day out mostly about IT infrastructure. Most IT specialists are facing a dilemma—should they keep on building their own infrastructure or simply opt for a renting model and work on integrating the infrastructure into their business operations. In the meantime, you won't get any help from brochures of various providers. They resemble classic beauty pageants—I am the best and the most capable. But is this the case?

Only in the last few years have companies started to place serious considerations on whether their existing IT infrastructure can deal with current demands of company business operations. This question is becoming very popular as companies are realizing that data is getting hard to manage. With the development of cloud computing, a new and appealing solution is presenting itself in the form of Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). For a CIO and a narrower circle of colleagues the dilemma is even bigger—should we opt for our own, rented or a hybrid infrastructure. The correct answer differs from company to company; there is simply no such thing as a universal solution, suitable for every environment or type of users.

Business operation backbone

Information specialists should consider the big picture—i.e., plans and objectives, if you wish. They are the ones that need to determine how and where will your company store and process data, how will business applications function, and how to produce a user-friendly experience for company employees, so that they will work with joy and mostly with high efficiency.

Observing this dilemma merely through the eyes of a CFO, the matter becomes quite clear—leasing IT infrastructure is for most companies the best solution price-wise, since it produces far less expenses than building your own data center of server room. The same goes for managing infrastructure and providing security. So why even consider owning or opting for a hybrid infrastructure? Well, as you know, not all that glitters is gold. For centuries housewives have known that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. And the same applies to handling data in business environments.

Complexity lies in the details

Infrastructure architecture determines how solutions will act in business environments and how applications will function (if at all). This makes it so much more important that the IT department is made aware of how an individual infrastructure works. Migrating applications and data into the cloud might not always be the right choice. Altering infrastructure doesn’t necessarily entail solving the problem; it often means only directing it to another person/provider. This is why you need to verify with the new public or hybrid infrastructure provider what it can actually guarantee. 

Migrating applications and data opens up a number of questions, revealing the hidden complexity and exposing bottlenecks. It’s like facing an iceberg—do we really know what’s hiding below the surface? Well, these hidden costs can be as high as 85 percent and they go by the name of integration, maintenance, management, support, fault elimination, data migration … You shouldn’t just assume that SPs are on top of all your challenges; you have to face them with the right questions. But what are the right questions? They deal with data, applications, and users. But make sure that the way the SP understands these aspects is aligned with your perspective.

Transitioning between infrastructures is no piece of cake

Even though providers’ brochures and websites stress how switching from one provider to another is as simple as ABC, experience show that this is rarely the case. Migrating data and applications is no walk in the park; there are no magical solutions that will make sure everything works on its own.  Just the thought of data migration will force your grey cells into active mode, considering the time needed for migrating terabytes or petabytes of data. Choosing the right SP is in itself is a difficult task, especially for companies that don’t know their technology and infrastructure to the bone.

Quixotic-struggle against lock-in

Many companies are choosing to remain with their own infrastructure because they fear of being too dependent on external SPs. A cloud provider could arguably limit the choice of solutions companies can to use, ultimately placing drawback on their operating adaptability. But this type of lock-in is ubiquitous nowadays. It’s present on all level, not just with applications, where it’s most noticeable, but also with operating systems and even (mobile) devices.

Objective: Simplicity and Efficiency

As for infrastructure, the objectives of IT specialists are quite clear; most would describe them as usability, responsiveness, high availability. Then come other factures, such as upgradability, price efficiency, ease of management, etc. But lowering their workload regarding infrastructure to a bare minimum is just wishful thinking of IT administrators.

Companies often don’t think too much in advance regarding IT infrastructure. Not to say that this is the easiest task; it’s more of a guessing game. But this is the reason behind the step-by-step investment in infrastructure, i.e., infrastructure is upgraded when it’s on its last breath.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this approach. The rapid development of technologies has made sure that these steps are becoming smaller and less difficult to make. And those who like to take on a challenge will try to skip a couple of steps. And once in a while they will even trip. Don’t let this happen to you.

NIL hold the reputation of having exceptional expertise in IT infrastructure of all sizes and for all purposes. NIL can become your partner or consultant, or just the filtering factor separating the appropriate solution from the substandard ones. Ambitious but unachievable promises are not our modus operandi. But what we can do is done with great quality, because we’re in it for the long run. So, if you don’t trust your IT infrastructure, entrust it to NIL.