The significant cost and operational advantages of cloud services have made cloud computing integral to the IT plans of most companies today. Does that mean traditional physical IT is a thing of the past? Not yet.
IT departments in organizations are in a fix. Easy-to-use cloud services have changed the way internal customers look at IT. They are demanding cutting-edge solutions that are easily accessible and want those quickly. IT can no longer ignore this scenario. If it fails to cater to these heightened expectations, internal customers will bypass IT and go for public cloud services in their quest for agility.
At the same time, the serious security and privacy concerns that IT has about housing critical applications and data on public infrastructure cannot be ignored.
The solution is to adopt a hybrid service model. Hybrid IT can be defined as a mix of cloud and traditional architectures, or public and private clouds. In a hybrid model, IT teams combine hosted, traditional infrastructure integrated with cloud or a virtualized platform to provide the best-in-class solutions to internal customers.
It is the smart strategy of combining products and services to get the best of both worlds. Hybrid IT provides users with the speed, flexibility and scalability of public cloud services while maintaining the security and privacy of corporate data and applications with on-premise architecture. In these systems, workloads will move around internal and external IT environments seamlessly.
Says Chris Howard, managing vice-president at Gartner, "While the cloud market matures, IT organizations must adopt a hybrid IT strategy that not only builds internal clouds to house critical IT services and compete with public CSPs, but also utilizes the external cloud to house noncritical IT services and data, augment internal capacity, and increase IT agility."
However, putting in place a hybrid IT model is just the start. To maximize the benefits of the model, IT departments will have to ensure a high level of interoperability between the services. IT departments will need to be in sync with the changes and continually update the applications and infrastructure ecosystem to ensure that the model stays effective and efficient. And they will need to look at emerging technologies such as software defined network and virtual networks to gain the most out of cloud investments.
Hybrid IT is the way to go for enterprise IT departments striving to deliver the competitive advantage and agility that business needs. It also offers the cost savings and efficiency needed in a world of flat IT budgets.