Eighty percent of organizations have a hybrid cloud strategy, according to Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud Report. And for good reason.
Enhanced flexibility, increased scalability and a greater degree of IT customization are just some of the benefits of hybrid cloud. Yet, while this approach makes it easier to advance to the cloud without abandoning your existing infrastructure, hybrid cloud management is more difficult – especially if your IT staff doesn’t have the skills or experience to maintain various platforms.
When organizations operate a hybrid cloud, they juggle multiple financial models needed to deliver applications and support their consumers. Everyone wants to choose the hosting medium or service that will deliver the greatest return for the lowest cost, but this is easier said than done.
Effective hybrid cloud management helps you avoid high costs and performance issues that affect profitability and hinder your ability to maintain and expand market share. Here are three essential elements to achieve it.
1. Build a strong foundation
The hosting and software space is evolving faster than ever, and with so many new and existing options, businesses sometimes have trouble deciding what makes the most sense for them. When in doubt, many often choose familiarity.
While there’s safety in working with the tools, platforms and services you’re familiar with, this can also reduce flexibility, inflate the cost to deliver goods sold and lessen overall efficiency. This is why you should regularly perform audits to ensure these resources align with your organization's direction and provide the greatest return.
Start with establishing a center of excellence to ensure you’re leveraging the correct components in a hybrid deployment. The most successful centers of excellence aren’t big, and they don’t consist entirely of IT; they’re a multi-departmental blend of employees, managed service providers (MSPs) and consultants.
Getting your teams certified to understand the capabilities and financial models of various platforms and services is a great option, but make sure you pursue certifications that will drive value in your organization.
2. Commitment to the fundamentals
My high school football coach said, “Fundamentals are the key to success.” The same philosophy applies to hybrid cloud management.
Creating a strong foundation with clear objectives can get you off on the right foot. Installing the proper governance and review process will help you avert many of the common pitfalls associated with hybrid cloud management. For example, you can avoid making commitments or leveraging options that create vendor lock-in or limit integration options.
Additionally, be sure to keep proper documentation of the tools and platforms you’re using. This helps minimize the complexity of cost and asset management and diminishes the chances of service sprawl.
It’s important you understand the current landscape and have a clear vision of the downstream impacts of making changes to your environment. With the fundamentals in place, you’re better positioned to do just that.
3. Regularly invest in your team
If you want to maintain an optimized hybrid model, you must continuously invest in your team. But this shouldn’t be limited to just technology and tools.
Leveraging software and MSPs for lower-level expertise, day-to-day operations and other essential tasks that don’t drive innovation is crucial. That way, your internal teams can spend more time focusing on projects that will drive innovation and add value to the business.
Optimization is an ongoing process
Today’s market operates at the speed of convenience.
Customers are used to having the services they require readily available and easily accessible. When that “experience” changes, they’ll turn to someone else. Businesses must be able to adapt and adjust as needed. Hybrid cloud can help with this – but only when it’s managed effectively.
You can’t treat hybrid cloud management as a one-off; optimization requires continuous monitoring and recalibrating. Regularly quantify, track, measure and improve based on the initially established KPIs to ensure the best options are in place and you’re achieving the targeted return.