Hybrid IT, in its most simple form, is the mix of IT infrastructure platforms - legacy on-premise and private/public hybrid clouds - that an enterprise uses to satisfy its application workload and data needs. As our global research has shown, there are recognisable beneﬁts of Hybrid IT including; increased business agility (46 percent), improved customer service (41 percent) and faster product development (34 percent). However, with the convergence of multiple technologies and service-delivery models, managing a hybrid IT model has become immensely complex. What used to be in one data centre now spans geographies, partners, hybrid cloud & legacy systems, and applications.
At one time, that definition simply referred to the split of technology resources provided by either an in-house IT organisation or an external supplier. But the demand for digital business processes and the growth of cloud computing expanded both the definition and the complexity of hybrid IT.
As a result, it also includes hybrid clouds, a combination of public and private cloud infrastructures that are hosted and managed internally, by a cloud provider or multiple providers.
Now, hybrid IT is the enterprise norm. In fact, Gartner says a massive shift to hybrid architecture services is underway. By 2020, 90 percent of organisations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management.1
What does a hybrid infrastructure look like?
What are the challenges?
Such a sprawling and diverse IT landscape can present challenges. In an increasingly digital business environment, where change is a constant and the demand to deploy new applications faster is high:
- Older technology can be hard to scale and slow to change
- People deploy cloud resources without the IT organisation knowing (shadow IT)
- Multiple, disconnected IT infrastructures cause 'broken' business processes, service disruptions and delays
- Managing and securing a mix of IT infrastructures can be costly and complicated, especially when data can reside nearly anywhere
What are the benefits?
Hybrid IT provides a wide range of options for delivering IT services. From a strategic standpoint, it enables IT decision makers to:
- Align specific technology platforms with specific applications and workloads
- Meet unique needs of different business groups, units, suppliers and customers
- Choose from hybrid cloud offerings, such as managed Amazon Web Services (AWS) or managed private clouds
How are others approaching hybrid IT and hybrid cloud?
To gain these benefits, enterprises are now implementing different approaches to managing and leveraging a mixed IT infrastructure. As part of this approach, they are:
- Balancing stability and change: Moving to new IT service delivery models while maintaining environments that run core applications and workloads
- When and where it makes sense, building plans for migrating applications from legacy to more scalable and change-ready platforms
- Governing cloud adoption, while meeting user demands for new, more competitive services, delivered faster
- Implementing change management processes across the entire IT landscape to decrease business disruption and increase service reliability, even amidst great change
Moving forward, with the right approach in place, hybrid IT can be both the norm and an asset for the enterprise.
- Closely align hybrid IT resources with specific business needs
- Deliver new applications and capabilities sooner
- Support both core applications and innovative technologies
- Hybrid cloud provides multiple cloud options
- Balance stability and agility with a hybrid infrastructure