Here’s a safe bet: If you’re like most enterprise IT leaders, you’ve already moved some data and workloads to the cloud, or you’re doing so now. How do we know? It’s an educated guess, confirmed by third-party research.
A survey of IT management at large U.S. enterprises conducted last year by media and market research firm IDG, for instance, indicated that 36% had already completed a cloud migration project and 41% were currently undergoing one. This is noteworthy, but should come as no shock; we are well along this cloud technology adoption curve.
The question is, if cloud migration is fast becoming a done deal, what’s next? One answer is more cloud: hybrid cloud and outsourced cloud infrastructure, in particular. The IDG report showed, for instance, high percentages of respondents considering projects involving ERP and Azure stack (47% and 39%, respectively).
ERP, hybrid cloud and Azure Stack
What does it mean for ERP to be under consideration? Having completed initial cloud migrations involving typically non mission-critical workloads, many IT leaders are looking to leverage that experience. In that light, they might want to modernize their ERP systems by moving databases and applications from proprietary and expensive siloes into some kind of cloud infrastructure.
One lesson-learned from cloud migrations to date is that some, but not all data belongs on the public cloud. Given performance, security, compliance, and other concerns, CIOs are looking to optimize their control of sensitive and critical data.
In practice, for ERP that could mean hosting expense management modules on a public cloud, involving only employee names and non-sensitive data, while hosting the complete employee database and other ERP functions on premises or on a private cloud. Linking the two would make it a hybrid deployment.
Azure Stack fits into a hybrid scenario. Designed to bring features of Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform into the enterprise data center, Azure Stack bridges the public and private clouds. For enterprises on other public clouds, there are similar hybrid offerings from managed service providers, including NTT Communications.
The Managed Services Option
For several years, since announcing early support for Azure Stack, we have seen value in hybrid plays, and we welcome all entrants. We also know what it takes to become certified experts in ERP and recognize that many enterprises today simply want to run their businesses, preferring to have little to do with data centers, infrastructure and platform management.
The IDG survey confirms that preference. It indicates that 57% of IT management had either already completed or were undergoing managed infrastructure projects and that 37.5% were considering that course.
It’s a good option. Enterprises moving from first-generation cloud migrations into hybrid cloud deployments, including those involving mission-critical apps like ERP, are likely to see service providers with expertise and resources in these areas as potential and attractive partners.