End-user expectations push businesses to the cloud: Veeam

End-user expectation levels are putting pressure on IT departments to look at the cloud to help keep businesses running 24/7.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

With the shift of technology and the creation of the internet of things, Veeam technical director APAC Charles Clarke believes it is setting end-user expectations levels about businesses to be "always on".

Clarke told ZDNet at the Gartner IT Infrastructure Operations and Data Centre Summit 2014 in Sydney that this expectation level is constantly creating new challenges for IT departments to meet those standards.

"We're always talking about Apple, all the apps, and everything you have on your mobile like the internet, and it's creating the expectation that it's always there. Consumers nowadays have that expectation, so the challenge for the 'always on' business is making sure that they're always there," he said.

For this reason, Veeam APAC vice president Don Williams said this is driving organisations to move towards the modern data centre, which is "all about going from the old days of physical servers" and adopting virtualisation, cloud solutions, and new storage technologies in order to be able to deliver the "always on" services to end-users.

However, for businesses with legacy systems, the process is proving to be "little bit of a challenge", according to Clarke.

"A lot of companies' tools and process are wedded to the way things use to be done to that sort of legacy world where there are standalone servers and infrastructures. Part of their challenge is 'how do we embrace of that new model virtualisation and cloud? How do we leverage it? How to we get the best return on the investment that we make in terms of time and money?'," he said.

"Clearly coupled with that is the concept of the 'always on' business. Part of that means you can't have email down for half a day anymore — those days are gone.

"When I started in the IT industry, my email would go down, the phones will go down, and we'll be okay, but nowadays if Facebook is down for 10 minutes in the office, people are screaming. I think it's a challenge for a lot of corporations on how do deal with that and to work to the expectation levels that end-users are setting for us, and so that's the challenge."

However, it appears on a global scale, Australia is one market that is "leading the way to the cloud". Clarke said the reason for this is because the Australian market is made up mostly of small to medium enterprises that have the flexibility and agility to move faster.

"It's across the board, but mainly with SME here that have the flexibility, and agility to be innovative and often may see them leading the way and that's why the Australian marketplace leads the way in virtualisation and the cloud."

Although, Williams points out there is a misconception that the adoption of the cloud needs to be "big, complex, and expensive".

Clarke agrees, suggesting anything IT-related should be in fact simple.

"We as an industry — the IT industry — is starting to realise IT isn't suppose to be painful. People say its technology, it should be hard. It should be techie, but it really absolutely shouldn't.

"It should serve the needs of a business, it should be something you shouldn't think about, it should be something that just works," he said.

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