09 May 2019

The rise of SaaS means you need a ‘hybrid’ strategy

If your IT environment is like most organisations’, it’s in a constant state of flux as new digital technologies – vetted and shadow – continue to play a bigger role as you struggle to maintain the value and integrity of legacy systems.

One of the prevailing trends at the moment is a sharp increase in the adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and platforms – as firms seek to meet worker demands for greater flexibility and ease-of-use, while their reduced cost and minimal maintenance requirements make them appealing from an administration and accounting point of view. At the same time, a large number of Australian mid-sized organisations report extensive use – and dependence – on legacy applications. Despite its negative connotations, ‘legacy’ means reliability and predictability for many companies. Almost invariably, they also represent significant capital investment, time, and trial and error to build.

All this would suggest that interest in hybrid IT models should be on the rise. However, a recent report we published, ‘The Transforming role of IT in Medium-Sized Australian Organisations’, showed the majority are lukewarm about their need to adopt a Hybrid IT strategy, with only 21% stating that it was important to their organisation’s success.

Interestingly, among those organisations that said they were contemplating a hybrid strategy, two-thirds said it was because legacy applications are not suitable for the cloud, suggesting neither a preference for on-premise or the cloud.

Furthermore, almost half of all companies that are in or moving to the cloud said the key impetus was having to upgrade to the ‘SaaS versions’ of their current systems. Respondents said they expect 9% more of their applications to be SaaS in 12 months’ time (41% vs. 50%).

An important parallel theme here is the fact they also cited ‘integration of new technologies’ as one of their biggest challenges for 2019.

New clouds are forming

Cloud computing is entering an important new phase, as new technologies and approaches are facilitated by new technologies, such as HP’s GreenLake suite of solutions for intelligent cloud management.

This new generation of technologies is creating opportunities for organisations to adopt bespoke set-ups that enable them to retain the control and security of the on-premise systems, applications and data that remain critical to their operations.

At the same time they can still enjoy the many benefits of the cloud, both private cloud and public cloud, such as accessibility and ease of use, while connecting the different environments seamlessly and securely.

Unlike previous options available, these new technologies provide greater visibility and you can accurately track and pay only for what’s actually being used, providing a unique and welcome level of certainty around costs.

The term ‘hybrid IT’ has been around for almost long as the cloud now, and like the cloud it can mean very different things for different organisations.

In the early days of the cloud computing revolution, organisations were presented with fairly simplistic and inflexible options for managing on-premise and cloud environments. This is no doubt a factor in the slow uptake of hybrid solutions amongst mid-sized Australian organisations.

Is a hybrid approach right for you?

Of course, not every organisation needs – or is ready – to make the move to hybrid straight away.

If IT Managers were to design their environments from scratch right now, 67% say that they’d adopt a hybrid approach. Whilst that doesn’t create urgency to do something about it now, most also that it’s an inevitable path that they must tread if their organisation is to go through a successful digital transformation – integrating and managing the new systems and platforms that different areas of your organisation now need to do their roles fully.

Even companies still almost entirely on-premise are beginning to recognise that business case for SaaS platforms and applications is becoming impossible to ignore in all circumstances.

Effectively and securely integrating the new with the old comes with complexity and challenges that need to be addressed carefully and strategically, because it might not be too far away when finding the right hybrid model for your organisation could become mission-critical.

 

Brennan IT is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected Managed Service Providers (MSP) specialising in the design and management of bespoke hybrid environments. Connect with one of our experts today about how to successfully bridge what you know with the new digital landscape evolving around us.

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