Enabling seamless transitions to the cloud
The last two years have seen unprecedented business upheaval – not just in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) but also globally. However, while many businesses have suffered, others have managed not only to survive but to use the adversity as a catalyst for positive change, whether that be pivoting to a hybrid cloud/on-premises model or engaging in a full transition to cloud-based operations.
Many hospitality ventures have rapidly shifted to pursue delivery-only revenue streams, and many have implemented click-and-collect provisions that enable social distancing. Large corporations in Australia moved most of their workforce to remote offices within days. A New Zealand-based telecommunications company went a step further by implementing their first fully-virtual call centre, responsible for managing all aspects of the business, from recruiting, to training and performance management, to everyday operations.
Cloud technology has been playing a critical role in enabling these recent developments, and this trend does not appear to be slowing down. According to one report, cloud technologies should continue to expand, leading to a $1 trillion market in 2024.
Cloud technologies provide many benefits, including distributed operations and improved time-to-market, if not simply the ability to remain competitive in challenging times. However, migrating from on-premises systems to cloud systems is often fraught with challenges related to data.
During the migration, for example, certain data sources might be temporarily unavailable or restricted to a limited number of users. Obviously this can disrupt daily operations, especially for global businesses that are open at all hours.
Additionally, if organisations run into problems during or immediately after a migration, it is not easy to quickly revert to previous configurations. Organisations also might need to keep certain on-premises systems running during a cloud migration for critical activities like regulatory compliance. It is difficult to provide users with seamless access to both cloud and on-premises systems, using traditional technologies simultaneously.
Data Virtualisation for a Smooth Cloud Migration
Data virtualisation is a technology that can overcome these challenges. It enables organisations to migrate to the cloud without downtime and without even affecting daily operations.
Data virtualisation is the key component of logical data fabric. By automatically stitching together data from different sources and applications that may be in multiple on-premises and cloud environments, data virtualisation offers real-time views into integrated data without replication. In contrast, most other data integration approaches require data to be copied from each different source and loaded into a new consolidated repository.
With data virtualisation, organisations can maintain normal business activity even during migrations, as it takes care of all of the details of data access on behalf of the user, including details about where the data is actually stored, be it on-premises or in the cloud. In the same way, data virtualisation enables legacy and new systems to run simultaneously in a hybrid configuration that delivers real-time, integrated data.
Always-On Is the New Normal
Even as we recover from this pandemic, we will need to continue to effectively leverage data from multiple sources and engage in seamless transitions to the cloud without affecting daily operations. In this increasingly digital economy, the business needs to be able to pivot on the fly in response to changing market conditions. The faster that products and services can be brought to market, the more capitalisation and potential profits the organisation will be able to generate.
Data virtualisation will be critical for enabling not only largescale migrations to the cloud but also hybrid infrastructures that simultaneously draw on cloud and on-premises data sources. It will be the most critical technology for enabling the needed agility, flexibility, and resiliency to meet current and future challenges.