IT infrastructure plays an increasing role in business success.
Despite this, IT infrastructure is also increasingly expected to deliver more for less - this makes it harder for IT teams to balance development projects with day-to-day operations.
For Stuart Mills, regional director, A/NZ, CenturyLink, a hybrid IT approach can free up resources for organisations to spend more time on innovation.
“In today’s intensely competitive business environment, re-focusing IT resources on innovation is critical,” Mills says.
“But this is sometimes difficult to do. In many cases, an organisation’s IT team might spend 75 per cent or more of their time and resources on maintenance and infrastructure, leaving less than a quarter of the allocated budget for innovation.”
Because of this uneven budget allocation, Mills says even a relatively small percentage reduction in infrastructure costs can make a dramatic increase in resources available for innovation.
As a first step to achieving cost reductions, Mills says companies might consider outsourcing certain IT infrastructure and routine administrative tasks.
“Outsourcing infrastructure can dramatically reduce overall IT costs,” Mills adds.
“However, because no two organisations are identical, each business needs to consider key questions about exactly what to outsource, where to start, and how to combine the various options.
“Getting it right will help optimise IT infrastructure delivery and maximise the savings that can be re-directed into innovation.”
Different elements of a hybrid IT infrastructure outsourcing approach can achieve optimal cost efficiency.
As Mills explains, companies can outsource the fundamental IT building blocks such as data centre facilities and operations, compute and storage platforms, network and connectivity services, infrastructure management, security services, and applications, individually or as a whole.
For example, for many mission-critical applications, managed services can be a better fit than cloud services.
“To achieve this optimal mix, organisations should consider working with a partner to implement a hybrid IT strategy,” Mills adds.
“The right partner can help work out what should continue to be managed internally and what should be outsourced.”
Going forward, Mills believes the reward for outsourcing can be increased competitiveness in rapidly evolving markets and the ability to focus on innovation to gain that edge.
“Because most companies have a mix of requirements that changes over time, it’s important to partner with a provider that can offer a full range of end-to-end solutions, including data centre colocation and managed services, as well as cloud,” Mills adds.