2016 priorities focusing on IT performance for the cloud

By John Gentry, vice president of marketing alliances

With the rate of IT evolution, it’s never easy to make firm predictions about what new tech will emerge in a coming year. Every 12 months, a new analyst or expert report details how the cloud will finally reach mass-market adoption, but the landscape that will support that shift has yet to emerge. There’s no doubt that 2016 will come with even greater enthusiasm for the benefits the cloud offers. However, a couple more things need to fall into place to overcome the final barrier of hosting mission-critical workloads in the cloud.

Here are two trends for 2016 that will advance enterprise IT’s cloud adoption by improving visibility into the platform’s performance:

SLAs driven by performance are the final piece

The “five nines” availability standard has been part of cloud service-level agreements (SLAs) for some time. However, availability itself isn’t always enough. Companies have been running non-critical workloads in the cloud for years, but the final piece – migrating mission-critical applications to the cloud – requires performance guarantees. Enterprise IT wants to move its most significant processes to the cloud, but they need more confidence that the target environment is at least as reliable and manageable as on-premise deployments. Looking toward 2016, IT leaders will start to demand more from cloud vendors, requiring assurances from providers and guarantees for performance built right into their contracts.

Cloud monitoring services take center stage

With heightened expectations for transparency will come increases in the industry’s total number of cloud-monitoring services. These solutions must objectively analyze public cloud performance, and must deliver authoritative, unbiased insights that enable comprehensive understanding and accountability — this will make performance-based SLAs a reality. When vendors make this a priority and bring the required solutions and services into the mix, they’ll see companies that are currently reluctant to move mission-critical workloads into the cloud feel confident enough to take the plunge.

Data expectation and capability come to infrastructure performance

Companies have made significant investments in big data analytics to improve processes across the enterprise ranging from marketing to human resources. Next up needs to be IT infrastructure. Applying big data analytics to digital business-enablement processes is an opportunity to a gain competitive advantage by ensuring perpetually optimal and stable performance, utilization and health for the level of IT performance the digital economy demands. Every I/O running through the infrastructure is a critical piece of data. Analyzing it all in totality provides a complete picture of IT infrastructure performance. The more information IT performance teams have, the more accurate and purposeful their IT investment decisions will be.

As the adage goes, knowledge is power. With enterprise IT taking performance guarantees to the next level, this holds true — so long as they have a performance management solution that delivers. It’s crucial for IT teams to collaboratively understand their systems as thoroughly as possible, and to be continually aligned with agile business goals. As the performance management trend continues to evolve over the coming year, this comprehensive and collaborative knowledge will become a reality. The teams that take advantage of these opportunities will be at the forefront of innovation and adoption that poise, accelerate and embolden the agility advantage. They will be the first to truly leverage the public cloud’s capabilities and optimize extended systems to deliver mission-critical workloads without fail.

If your team is considering an infrastructure upgrade, a critical infrastructure audit from Virtual Instruments will help you understand precisely what you need.