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How to ensure operational excellence in your hybrid IT environment

These days it's not enough for IT departments to simply provide basic services within their organizations. They must deliver operational excellence to enable the business to drive growth and remain competitive, too. Here’s how to do that.

By now most IT executives have embraced hybrid IT, implementing an approach that combines the security and control of in-house IT with the scalability, efficiency, and agility of public and private cloud technology.

Yet hybrid IT brings complexity, and many CTOs still wonder how to determine the best mix of workloads for each environment, whether that’s public cloud or on premises. How do you invest in the correct architecture, source the right partner, onboard the required skills, avoid overspending, and create an IT environment that works effectively and seamlessly?

These are questions Advania Data Centers faced recently as it sought a way to keep up with demand from customers for high-performance computing (HPC) solutions. It wanted an agile, cost-effective solution for providing HPC resources while avoiding the substantial investment of time and capital required to build an on-premises solution.

Advania Data Centers partnered with HPE Pointnext to design, build, and deploy an IT solution that creates HPC environments for customers in hours instead of weeks—and at a fraction of the traditional cost. Advania Data Centers’ customers can now easily access HPC compute resources to run demanding research projects that require processing many millions of computing operations per second.

Companies like Advania Data Centers are working to achieve a necessary transformation within their IT departments. It’s part of a drive to modernize infrastructure and applications for increased agility, offer common services via a self-service IT platform, and make use of flexible consumption models to align cost with IT usage.

Best location for workloads

An IT provider can help you determine the best location for your workloads, too. Not all workloads are appropriate for a public cloud. Many companies want to keep mission-critical applications and data on premises, citing security and data sovereignty as key concerns. Less critical workloads are moving to the public cloud, while business-critical and sensitive data tend to reside on premises. Some older applications won’t work in the cloud or need to be reworked, so organizations must decide if they will redo them for the cloud or retain them on premises.

Ideally, you need someone to guide you through these decisions so you understand your options, the pros and the cons, and have help developing and executing the plan. Working with a trusted IT provider is best for those organizations that do not want to release operational control of their IT but want to be as operationally efficient as possible and enjoy a flexible commercial model. An IT provider will do this by assigning a group of experts to work with you to understand your business, mitigate risks, and keep your technology up to date and running 24/7, 365 days a year.

An advantage of this approach is that the IT provider can act as an extension of your IT organization, providing a single point of contact and accountability with the many vendors you’ll inevitably have when running a complex hybrid IT environment. When something goes wrong, vendors can sometimes engage in a blame game, wasting valuable time as your issue goes unresolved. A relationship with a proven IT partner can offer an environment-wide support experience that covers your entire IT landscape, giving you peace of mind to focus on innovation projects.

The experience gives you speed and accountability, and ultimately saves you from costly unplanned outages and drives project success. Note that at least 25 percent of IT projects are abandoned because of IT capacity limitations, while those projects that are eventually finished are delayed an average of five months, according to a recent study. A knowledgeable IT partner can help your company improve its success rate.

HPE Pointnext: Services that accelerate your digital transformation.

Fewer tedious tasks, more time to innovate

With this approach, customers experience 70 percent fewer unplanned outages and 67 percent less revenue lost as a result, according to a recent IDC report. The people, support, and best practices that an IT provider offers makes IT infrastructure teams more productive and efficient. IDC found that companies spend 44 percent less time working on mundane IT tasks, freeing up valuable time to work on other projects.

When companies buy their own IT hardware, they often hold on to it for longer than is practical so that it becomes inefficient and out of date and ends up costing more money in the long run. An older product typically uses more power, requires costly and scarce legacy skills, and costs more for support.

Capable IT providers can help keep technology current, and bundle support and services to provide a seamless ownership experience. They can also help update business processes to accommodate a hybrid IT landscape, or help retrain employees or hire those with the correct skills and mindset. You'll have more control of IT assets with a single portal with analytics and dynamic information. Users can simply click, compose, and consume resources across their hybrid IT landscape. 

The dashboard component helps IT execs who often struggle with predicting and managing costs across a distributed IT system with assets both on and off premises. With insights and analytics across the entire hybrid IT landscape, IT can better manage workloads based on business requirements and budgets, prevent lost revenue due to downtime, or view costs by project. Integrated cloud management and infrastructure provides more control and enables lower costs and higher utilization rates.

CTOs are under pressure to deliver IT at a very high level to support lines of business as enterprises move quickly to embrace digital transformation across their IT environments.

That’s where IT providers come in. They can help improve the efficiency of IT service delivery and optimize IT operations with comprehensive offerings. This frees up a company’s IT resources to concentrate on building new and innovative revenue-generating technologies that directly relate to improving your customer service. It’s a partnership that can help you deliver the necessary operational excellence in your hybrid IT environment.

This article/content was written by the individual writer identified and does not necessarily reflect the view of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.