When it comes to digital transformation (DX), the future belongs to the fast—and laggards risk being left in the dust. Recent research from Harvard Business Review shows that digital leaders significantly out-performed slow DX adopters in gross margins, earnings, and net income, despite similar IT spending patterns. Using key DX pillars like cloud to rapidly develop and deploy new products and services, these companies have accelerated innovation and rebuilt business and operational models to support DX. Interestingly, many were not cloud-native operations, but rather older companies that successfully leveraged hybrid cloud environments. How did they manage to retain cloud’s speed and agility while operating in hybrid’s more complex environment?
It’s a pressing question, since hybrid adoption is in high-growth mode. The reality is, most companies already have extensive investments in on-premises systems and applications and don’t have the freedom to operate in cloud-native mode. Rather, they opt for hybrid, in which companies use private and public clouds, sometimes from more than one vendor, as well as on-premises infrastructure to deliver their services.
Therein lies the rub. To make the most of cloud’s elasticity, the entire infrastructure must operate at peak performance, and hybrid environments make it harder for enterprise IT organizations to control availability, reliability, and responsiveness. Cloud management platforms, which often cover only the cloud portion of an environment, do not allow companies to maintain control of enterprise-wide service assurance and hamper their ability to see across the entire service delivery infrastructure. Thus, companies struggle with limited visibility into the service delivery infrastructure and inadequate monitoring of network and application performance.
What are the implications of such limited visibility? Reduced performance and quality of service, increased exposure to risk, reduced savings, and the inability to consistently meet compliance regulations, just for starters. Without a window to see across the entire environment, enterprises cannot clearly assess service performance and identify security vulnerabilities. In a world marked by the notion that there is “no off,” the cost of ignoring such vulnerability could be significant.
Limited visibility also makes it difficult to extract full benefits from cloud investments, as slower performance inevitably cuts into the agility afforded by cloud’s instant elasticity. Moreover, cloud’s cost benefit may also erode: Without visibility into how applications consume cloud resources, organizations could end up paying higher hosting costs.
What sounds like a technical problem will have far-reaching business consequences when that deceleration plows into DX, which aims to deliver new and better applications faster than ever. As many companies have discovered, it’s not enough to deliver transformational customer and business services. For cloud-based disruption to work, you must deliver them well.
Therefore, building a service assurance strategy to manage the performance and security of the entire hybrid environment becomes a mission-critical business activity. If an enterprise turns to the cloud to support key business services and processes, it must find a way to gain complete visibility across the entire hybrid IT environment.
This is achieved by continuous end-to-end monitoring and real-time analysis of the traffic and application flows collected from hybrid cloud’s physical and virtual networks and applications. The analysis of the monitored data provides end-to-end service-level visibility and intelligence in hybrid cloud environments that simplify complexity, mitigate risks, accelerate business agility, and promote operational excellence. By using pervasive software-based instrumentation technology in the cloud, enterprises can retain the control over application and service assurance in hybrid cloud environments.
Download the report from The Enterprise Strategy Group to find out why service and application assurance accelerates hybrid cloud adoption.