Mission-critical. That’s how we’ve referred to the vital functioning of applications, hardware, software, programming, networking, and overall infrastructure for as long as we can remember. The reason? When business applications or systems go down, businesses lose revenue and become vulnerable to security breaches. Traditionally speaking, mission-critical has meant delivering system reliability, availability, and security to the business.
But as the center of gravity for enterprise computing has moved to the cloud, whether a single-cloud or a multi-cloud environment, businesses require more. Businesses expect the same mission-critical infrastructure that on-premises data centers offered. But now, agility—flexibility and the ability to respond quickly to the needs of the business—has become equally “mission-critical.”
Why agility? And why now?
Until just a few years ago, it was the IT departments that drove infrastructure decisions. Now, it’s business decision-makers who say, “We need this. Make it happen!” And your IT team must execute quickly and accurately to meet the business’s expectations.
In the good old days of on-prem data centers, there was a serious lack of agility. When business teams requested a change or encountered an issue, they were often met with long wait times for resolutions, and for a while this was the normal course of business. However, this slow pace led to a rise in business leaders going rogue, and shadow IT emerged to go around this lack of agility. It became clear that the agility and service delivery speeds that the business desired were possible, and today it’s the business that makes the calls.
Agility must now be a core component of “mission-critical.” Infrastructure teams must have the ability to rapidly develop, test, and implement solutions that drive business growth, even when that means readiness to operate in a multi-cloud environment. Planning and investing in agility at the same level as infrastructure reliability, availability, and security sets your IT team up for future success and can save valuable time, money, and resources.
Consistent architecture drives agility
“Mission-critical” isn’t the only thing that’s changing; the entire cloud networking conversation is evolving. As they say, “the only constant is change.” This saying has never been more true, as we move into the cloud era. Greater agility allows businesses to respond to customer requirements more quickly, deliver services more quickly, and generate revenue more quickly. Mission-critical means that IT architects must design for agility, while maintaining the availability, reliability, and security that the business expects.
When it comes to the future of “mission-critical,” consistency is key to every aspect:
- Visibility: you need to have a consistent operational view across all environments so you can troubleshoot and resolve issues and maintain the control you need.
- Security: consistent security policies across cloud platforms allow your organization to reduce risk introduced by human error and smooth out the unique complexities among clouds.
- Availability and reliability: redundant, highly reliable multi-cloud networking ensures that all of your applications have consistent availability.
- Agility: a multi-cloud-ready architecture leverages and controls but abstracts the underlying cloud services. As a result, it simplifies infrastructure as code automation, which lets you move even faster.
Learn how the cloud networking conversation is evolving and what that means for your IT team and the future of your business in our eBook, We Need to Talk: Start the Right Cloud Networking Conversation Now.