15th May 2017CIO
Hybrid IT: The New Trend in the IT Industry
By Ana Maria Bezerra, Executive IT Architect - IBM
In my journey as an IT professional, I’ve noticed that trends in this industry tend to appear in cycles. I often see concepts that have been tried out in the past being reused in new contexts. After they’ve been adjusted, they’re presented as new trends. Then, they’re adopted by the market on a different scale to address concerns that, in some cases, aren’t much different than the ones the original concept was supposed to solve. Let’s take a look at how hybrid IT fits into this pattern.
Is History Repeating Itself?
If you look back at the 1980s to the 1990s, you may recall the transition from centralized mainframes to distributed computing. It’s not difficult to see a link between that shift and the transition to today’s hybrid IT or hybrid clouds.
In both scenarios, there’s a transformation being driven by the need to bring control of enterprise technology services back to central IT. This effort aims to promote compliance and to deter Shadow IT, the chaos created by departments outside central IT deploying their own applications and other tech tools, thereby bringing huge exposure and risk to the organization.
Of course, there’s often good reason for these departments to take action, as central IT doesn’t always seem to be aligned to business needs. To resolve this issue, companies need a way to balance IT and business needs by providing visibility and control without sacrificing flexibility and agility.
What’s Changed This Time?
The push toward hybrid IT today doesn’t surprise me. The difference between this current trend and previous one, however, is that the enterprise’s boundaries have changed. Now, they extend beyond company firewalls. New workloads, platforms and providers are required to better align IT services with new business models and channels. In this context of increased complexity, companies are challenged to ensure their entire IT environment is reachable and manageable.
Integration is key to making this happen, but it isn’t easy. As we’ve seen in the past, new tools, skills and capabilities are needed to transform IT models. Most importantly, IT consumers need a new experience, in which they can consume IT services with speed, agility and simplicity. After all, most companies just want to use IT to run their business properly.
IT is also being challenged to better support its consumers, who depend even more on the department’s services to do their activities. As a result, the IT industry is constantly reinventing itself to solve new problems as new technologies arise. Today, IT is emerging from a strategic inflection point where data, cloud and engagement are converging, and that’s why hybrid IT is important.
What Hybrid IT Means for Your Business
To figure out where the hybrid trend might fit in your company, take a look at some of the use cases to see which ones make sense for your organization. These include:
Integration of new and older systems. Link new social and mobile platforms to core business systems.
Variable workloads. Offload a variable workload, and burst to the cloud to gain additional capacity.
Regional workload distribution. Bring a workload closer to users through regional affinity.
Hybrid brokering. Manage IT environments holistically with a single dashboard.
Hybrid data. Deploy and use an application off-premises in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, while keeping data on premises.
Development and DevOps continuous delivery. Optimize the cost of development and testing.
Workload portability. Enable a workload to move seamlessly between the cloud and vendors.
Disaster recovery. Leverage the cloud for standby disaster recovery capabilities.
The hybrid trend shows how the IT industry is gaining a new level of maturity. In this new context, radical positions are no longer acceptable, and flexibility is key. Technology itself isn’t the most important component in this game: It’s the consumers who really matter. IT will continue to evolve in ways that can bring value by helping them achieve their goals. Inspire your company to get ahead of the game.
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