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Hybrid cloud adoption on the rise says Microsoft Image courtesy of Dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Featured

The Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) and the Port Authority of New South Wales have adopted Microsoft's Azure hybrid cloud solution as new research shows that Australian IT leaders are prioritising hybrid cloud to transform their IT, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft says that by adopting Azure hybrid cloud the VIT has eliminated risk and complexity involved in running a disaster recovery site for critical applications, reduced recovery point objectives for disaster recovery from one business day to minutes and rapidly scaled disaster recovery capabilities and deployed new services as needed.

And, Microsoft says the Port Authority of NSW has achieved a greater level of visibility over its entire infrastructure in a user-friendly format, moving from a model based on capital expenditure to a system based on operational expenditure “without compromising the quality of services”.

Microsoft says the VIT is modernising the way technology is used across the organisation, moving toward a suite of cloud-based services to create a business and people centred platform that will deliver “significant operational efficiencies”.

Responsible for regulating the 120,000 registered teachers in Victoria – including training needs, quality assurance, and safety checks – VIT is migrating its business applications to Microsoft Azure, including those responsible for record management, teacher applications, financial systems, and internal and external communication and collaboration platforms.

The first phase of VIT’s migration to the cloud saw the authority work with Microsoft partner Dilignet to deploy Microsoft Operations Management Suite and its Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) solution, to eliminate the risk and complexity involved in running a disaster recovery site for critical applications. It is also designed to simplify testing and reporting for compliance needs, and improve the authority’s recovery point objectives (RPO) for disaster recovery.

“No business ever wants to have to boot up its disaster recovery solutions, but VIT is safe in the knowledge our systems can be running again in a matter of minutes with Azure Site Recovery,” says Bruce Lawrence, Technical Project Manager, Business Services, VIT.

“The frequency at which data is backed up – twice a day – and the fact it can be hosted in Australia are key differentiators for us considering the sensitive and critical information we handle and compliance we must meet. Bringing these features together allows us to rapidly recover the complete VIT IT infrastructure to ensure business is running as usual in the unfortunate event we would need to.”

In its survey covering 1,200 leaders across 12 markets in the Asia-Pacific who are evolving their IT infrastructure strategies to meet the needs of a digital business, Microsoft says the findings show that:

•    40% of Australia IT leaders are already on the hybrid cloud journey (43% using private cloud and 17% using public cloud solutions)

•    Australia IT leaders spend 53% of their time on maintenance, 24% on developing next generation digital capabilities and 23% on business leadership on digital transformation initiatives

•    67% of Australia IT leaders agree there is a need to invest more in IT security solutions and services, and 62% agree on the need to reduce complexity of managing the increasing portfolio of IT security solutions.

Microsoft says the survey reveals that IT leaders in Asia Pacific are taking “firm steps towards transforming their approaches to their organisation’s digital transformation requirements despite having to also manage legacy IT infrastructure”.

According to the survey, 49% of IT leaders in the region are prioritising hybrid cloud over public only or private only cloud solutions for their organisations in the near future.

Microsoft says the next few years will be critical to all IT leaders as they execute on plans for a “transition to a modern cloud-based IT infrastructure needed to serve their digital business needs”, and the company cites IDC statistics showing that60% of the top 1,000 Asia Pacific organisations will have digital transformation at the centre of their corporate strategy by the end of 2017.

In Australia, 67% of respondents to the survey agreed that there is a need to invest more in IT security solutions and services and 62% agree on the need to reduce complexity of managing the increasing portfolio of IT security solutions and services.

But, Microsoft says that Asia Pacific IT leaders are struggling to balance legacy IT needs, budget demands and the need to “modernise to meet the demands for a digital future”.

The survey found that currently, approximately 40% of respondents in Australia are already on the hybrid cloud journey which is expected to increase to 49% in the next 12 – 18 months.

And, 43% are still only using private cloud and 17% are using purely public cloud solutions, with the study showing that respondents are not likely to increase their investments in private or public only cloud solutions, which Microsoft says reinforces the demand for a more integrated, hybrid approach.

Microsoft says adopting a hybrid cloud strategy is the next step in the journey for organisations looking to take advantage of modern cloud computing capabilities while continuing to manage their traditional assets.

Of the 49% of IT leaders prioritising the hybrid cloud, 9 out of 10 said they would prioritise an integrated hybrid cloud, with common management tools across both public and private cloud.

But, the study showed that most IT leaders in Australia have traditional views of the cloud.

While 74% said they would be comfortable hosting all their business applications on the public cloud in the future, more than half of respondents are only using it for basic applications such as email & customer facing online assets (websites), and only 38% of respondents are using the cloud for application development and operations.

Mike Heald, Hybrid Cloud (Azure) Product Manager, Microsoft Australia says, “Hybrid cloud is a natural progression for all organisations, regardless of size to reach their digital ambitions”.

“It’s a tough balancing act for IT to manage both current and future digital needs of the business. The cloud holds rich new applications which will enable better management tools, intelligent applications and advanced analytics to not just reduce cost and increase efficiency but to also innovate and enable faster time to market. As such, it can’t be ignored but it needs to be managed.”

Heald says a number of Microsoft customers in Australia are already validating Microsoft’s commitment to security and hybrid to meet their modern IT needs, including Capital SMART, the Port Authority of New South Wales and the Victorian Institute of Teaching.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).


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