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Tasks for Increasing IT Flexibility in a Hybrid Cloud

Companies must accomplish several tasks to leverage their information technology (IT) assets flexibly in a hybrid cloud environment. Just as company goals and priorities vary, no two companies will follow the exact same roadmap to transform IT.

To keep their IT assets flexible, companies must accomplish the following tasks:

  • Seamlessly integrate existing IT with new cloud-based delivery models. Breaking down the stove pipes among existing applications in the data center and cloud-based services requires a sophisticated approach to integration. Moving data across environments requires metadata mapping that ensures that the integration is meaningful.

  • Migrate to flexible IT and business processes. Processes are designed within and across applications throughout the company and across a supply chain. By separating processes from the underlying implementation, companies can gain better leverage of intellectual property. In addition, codifying processes can help management gain better control over how business policy is implemented within systems.

  • Create a new model that is holistic so that the underlying services are accurate when used in a new context. This model must be well-controlled, secured, and predictable. One of the biggest problems with traditional IT is that is has been defined based on solving one specific problem rather than on the overall needs of the organization. So, each time a new problem needs to be solved, a new application is written.

    The new emerging model is to create a set of services that can work together to solve many problems. These services are architected based on the common services — underlying middleware, business process, and data consistent across the company. These services set the pattern for reuse. Organizations are leveraging the models created with a service-oriented architecture (SOA) to achieve these goals. SOA patterns provide the best practices that are at the heart of well-defined cloud environments.

  • Create a lifecycle approach with a predictable method of changing elements of business services to support business change. Establishing a more flexible method of managing workloads in different cloud models and on-premises or data center–based delivery models requires that organizations look at the lifecycle of the elements within each environment.

  • Ensure manageability across the hybrid environment. New delivery models don’t stop at the data center; they incorporate cloud models and delivery models from partners and suppliers. All these services are now the new definition of what we think the role of the IT organization is becoming. Therefore, all these services must be managed as though the composite were a single integrated environment, rather than a highly distributed one.

  • Provide a predictable level of service across all traditional and emerging cloud models. After an organization takes a hybrid approach based on a combination of different delivery models, creating a consistent level of service is much easier. The new architected environment can now be combined with a service management approach that can be tuned to deliver the level of services customers expect. Not all services will require the same service level. However, in this new service level approach, management can determine which aspects of the environment need more sophisticated levels of predictability, security, and reliability.

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