Not too long ago, the main focus for businesses was efficiency and stability, and IT operations were measured in terms of cost and service availability. With the influx of digital technologies and mindsets, and the ensuing changes to long-held business paradigms, the new focus for IT is agility: the ability to respond quickly to market changes, accelerate innovation to offer personalized services and counter competitors.
While many digital natives can use a straightforward cloud approach to enable agility and innovation, industry stalwarts need to consider what they’ve already got in place. The answer can’t be just private or public cloud but, instead, orchestrating and managing workloads across multiple technologies and platforms in a hybrid cloud environment, which incorporates elements of both.
Hybrid cloud allows enterprises to dynamically orchestrate applications between the public and private cloud, and unify the architecture under integrated processes, tools and governance. Indeed, hybrid cloud has become an integral element of successful digital pursuits for traditional businesses. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90% of organizations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities. MarketsandMarkets projects a near tripling of the hybrid cloud market from $33 billion in 2016 to $92 billion by 2021. The primary reasons cited for adopting hybrid cloud solutions: operational efficiencies, a right-fit landing platform for workloads, agility and commercial flexibility.
A hybrid cloud solution is the right way forward for several very practical business scenarios:
- Workload portability and flexibility: Setting up a dev/test, lab and training environment on a public cloud platform and cross-leveraging an on-premise environment for production workloads.
- Collaboration across workloads: Seamlessly integrating existing applications and business processes with public cloud services.
- Business expansion: Setting up a disaster recovery, data backup and business continuity strategy when expanding into new geographies.
- Consolidation and migration: Implementing IT consolidation and migration projects.
Overcoming Business Challenges with Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud can enable businesses to overcome key challenges:
- Leverage existing skillsets, tools and investments. Businesses can optimize existing IT assets and skillsets by integrating, extending and centrally managing the on-premise and cloud environments.
- Minimize disruption with gradual and efficient change management of the technology platform, service operations and inventory management.
- Achieve consistent operational and service levels. Using a single monitoring and management console, businesses can enable unified service levels for enterprise applications and service availability.
- Secure customer data. Comprehensive security and governance can be provided at each layer of service operation, infrastructure and applications.
Enabling Right-fit Solutions
Because the hybrid cloud solution needs to be aligned with the enterprise’s specific business needs, it’s important to utilize standardized service delivery frameworks and pre-packaged service catalogs, which can be tailored and extended to meet changing business requirements. These requirements can include the need to increase operational agility, flexibility or scalability by implementing proper landing platforms, which can also reduce the overall cost of service operation management.
The various forms of value realized through a hybrid cloud solution include:
- Enhanced customer experience through an integrated platform and collaborative and self-service capabilities.
- Accelerated innovation through integration of technology silos, comprehensive governance across shadow IT groups, continuous development and smart service operations (powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning).
- Increased agility, through application portability and leveraging of microservices, containers and DevOps.
- Scalability, with the option to start small and seamlessly scale along with business needs, significantly reducing overall capital expenditures.
A Melding of Digital and Legacy
We worked with a leading financial institution to navigate its transition to digital by assessing its workloads, consolidating its data center and implementing a consumption-based, software-defined hybrid cloud environment with tiered cloud landing zones.
By deploying a consumption-based model, the global payments organization was able to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and embrace a next-gen operating model. The shift to digital also enabled the company to maintain its leadership position by allowing it to address the diverse needs of both digitally savvy millennial customers and traditional clients, all through one platform based on hybrid cloud.
To meet their goals of digital transformation, businesses need to shift from a departmentally based approach, to a broader, enterprise-wide strategy. With the flexibility of hybrid cloud, and a successful roadmap, legacy businesses can prepare themselves for the digital future.
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