Transforming Information Technology (IT) in the Hybrid Cloud - dummies

Transforming Information Technology (IT) in the Hybrid Cloud

By Judith Hurwitz, Marcia Kaufman, Fern Halper, Daniel Kirsch

The value of hybrid cloud computing is how it repositions the information technology (IT) organization to partner with the business in driving innovation and transformation. The ability to bring together a well-constructed data center with private cloud services and a variety of public clouds is the best way to create and drive innovation in business computing.

Companies are beginning to understand that their competitive value in the markets they serve is directly related to how successfully their customers, partners, and suppliers work together. It’s simply not enough to resort to the traditional techniques of managing these relationships. At the same time, companies are recognizing that their longevity depends on their ability to innovate and offer new products and services that leverage their intellectual property.

Without thinking about the use of IT in a new way, this transition cannot happen. Organizations that are transforming themselves are moving away from thinking about IT as a backroom activity. These companies are putting IT in the forefront of empowering innovation and transformation.

What does this mean? In brief, it means leveraging all the IT resources across the organization to create a flexible and scalable platform for innovation and change. This level of change requires a dramatic reinvention of IT. A hybrid cloud strategy that leverages the assets and computing models that exist with a continuum of emerging cloud models is at the heart of this transformation.

Setting the stage for action

To change the concept of computing to a hybrid cloud model, management’s first step is to understand that the value of information technology is based on the ability to integrate and connect with resources both internally and externally. This method is significantly different from the traditional method of segregating elements of IT within different business units.

By focusing on linking resources rather than isolating them, IT can become the engine of business change. Accomplishing this goal requires that management focus on three key elements:

  • Initiating a cloud strategy to change the dynamics of IT. Because of its flexibility, the cloud can become a point of collaboration between business and IT to promote change.

  • Focusing on the right options based on the task at hand. There isn’t a single approach that will work to support all situations. A hybrid approach will be pragmatic.

  • Making manageability of resources based on the customer experience a key driver for your strategy.

What the hybrid cloud means to the changing dynamics of IT

Moving IT from operating under an internal business operations model to become an enabler of innovative business models requires that IT be executed without boundaries. Innovative companies can no longer live with strict boundaries among business units, subsidiaries, partners, suppliers, and even customers.

For decades, organizations have been looking for ways to use their existing assets so that they can expand their business reach. Doing so has been incredibly hard because of the seemingly arbitrary boundaries caused by the inefficiency of IT. With changes in emerging technology enablers, companies are finding new ways to break down these artificial barriers.

The impact is that companies now want to be able to leverage their business rules and processes buried inside their existing business applications. They want to be able to manage the myriad data sources as though they were a single pool of information. This goal can be achieved only if the workloads that control all of these IT sources can be managed effectively. It’s a complex task that requires careful business and architectural planning. When these application, process, and data services are freed from their traditional constraints, the business benefits can be compelling.