Earlier this year our CTO, Karl Triebes, held a talk at Agility EMEA 2014, in which he talked about why business IT is now all about the architecture. Gone are the days when each time you wanted a new application or service you bought a new box. Instead, scalability, performance and flexibility are the new flavour of IT, handed to us by new infrastructure opportunities and options.
Too many businesses, however, are still stuck in the past, stranded with out-of-date kit impairing their ability to compete effectively in the modern, digital economy. It's understandable why it's hard to let go - legacy infrastructure can be reliable, staff are familiar with systems and the costs are often locked in and budgeted for, or already paid off. But businesses also need to look at sensible IT investments to move their infrastructure into the current decade.
When you think back to the 90s and our technology expectations, the screeching tones of the internet dial up and frustrations of loading bars quickly spring to mind. How times have changed. Now we want everything, in one place, immediately, and it's down to businesses to match this expectation. Ensuring that any business is able to deliver customer facing applications and data with almost no downtime and appropriate levels of security should be front of mind for any modern business. Crucially though, this doesn't have to translate to a huge upfront cost and lengthy implementation timelines.
Modern IT infrastructure has created a wealth of options for any IT organisation, which is fortunate, as businesses are under severe pressure to react and change at faster speeds than ever before. While the cloud has brought, cheaper storage, more automation and greater security, the reality is that businesses need to have the flexibility to adapt their priorities and processes in order to deliver the service and speed which customers demand.
So what does this mean for the way businesses architect their IT? The ongoing migration of applications to the cloud, increased user and resource mobility, and a rise of sophisticated threats have led to the dissolution of the traditional enterprise perimeter. This requires organisations to pursue a new version of enterprise technology.
Hybrid services delivery and security intelligence licensing options mirror the industry's rising interest in providing programmable application delivery capabilities across physical and virtual infrastructures, and we're already used to this type of purchasing model from developments around infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service. But the options are becoming greater than ever before, with DDos protection and other application delivery capability as-a-service now a reality, offering the whole IT suite on demand.
This isn't to say that we are experiencing the end of on-premise solutions, but that businesses can now enjoy greater flexibility than ever before. With the increasing threat of DDoS attacks, the introduction of security protection as-a-service is something which any business unable to commit to the financial investment of on-premise protection should seriously consider. Now is the time when the speed IT can change has finally caught up with the rest of business - make sure your infrastructure can keep up the pace.