Are there clouds on the horizon for on-premise datacenters?

With the global market heading towards US$79.1 billion by 2018, it seems many organisations think they’ll get ahead in the cloud. The promise of lower costs and greater agility has caused CIOs to flock to a sector that is, appropriately, now seeing sky-high popularity.

Meanwhile, on-premise datacenters are increasingly being regarded as costly and cumbersome in comparison to nimble infrastructure-as-a-service offerings from industry heavyweights like Microsoft, Amazon‎ and IBM. So, does this mean the days of in-house datacenters are numbered?

On-premise isn’t dead yet
While the unstoppable trend towards cloud is redefining the datacenter industry, we haven’t yet seen the end for on-premise facilities. For one thing, many organisations remain reluctant to abandon past infrastructure investments, preferring instead to ‘sweat’ these existing assets for as long as possible. Yet, even once every on-premise datacenter reaches end-of-life, not all workloads will be able to make the leap into the cloud.

While cost-savings and agility can win many arguments, security and performance are also crucial considerations when it comes to business-critical applications and data. This is a particular issue for the public cloud, which can leave organisations at the mercy of spikes in demand and encountering security or compliance issues without warning.

Facing this dilemma, many organisations are seeking a third way: a hybrid approach that combines the security and performance benefits of on-premise datacenters with the agile scalability of the cloud.

Hybrid cloud enables gradual innovation by simultaneously leveraging existing investments and allowing organisations to embrace new cloud capabilities. It’s an appealing idea for CIOs: in fact, almost half (48%) of enterprises plan to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy in the near future.

Nonetheless, hybrid cloud also creates significant integration challenges. The success of any hybrid strategy will largely be determined by an organisation’s ability to ensure flawless governance. On-premise and cloud-based workloads need to connect seamlessly, without compromising security or business performance.

Consider colocation
As much in-house infrastructure is retired in favour of the cloud, CIOs may also start asking why it makes sense to run an on-premise datacenter at all. Colocation facilities not only allow organisations to avoid the cost and complexity of managing an on-premise datacenter, they can also offer unbeatable cloud connectivity.

Colocation facilities often contain private access points to the major public cloud platforms - such as Microsoft ExpressRoute and AWS DirectAccess - allowing them to deliver high-performance, scalable connectivity to multiple cloud providers through a single secure connection. By placing their private IT infrastructure on the cloud’s doorstep, CIOs can ensure their business is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the cloud’s competitive benefits with none of the drawbacks.

Ultimately, every CIO must walk the tightrope between on-premise, colocated or fully cloud-based IT. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. CIOs should focus on the best match for their particular business needs, as well as building-in the ability to keep pace with the next wave of IT innovation.

Whether you think on-premise datacenters are here to stay or checking out, you’ll learn more about all the possibilities ahead at Datacloud Europe 2016. Join us in Monaco this June to rub shoulders with the dealmakers of the digital economy and hear about the future of IT innovation from the people who’ll make it happen.