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Start Here: First Steps for Creating a Hybrid IT Strategy

July 31, 2017

Hybrid IT is a Strategic Business Move. How Can You Begin to Make it Work For You?

Hybrid IT in 2017

The outdated portrayal of a hybrid IT strategy is a metaphorical stop along the road to a private or public cloud. The truth is, today, a hybrid IT strategy is the ongoing reality of most IT organizations, and it’s not because they’re tentatively on their way to the cloud. Reasons for opting for hybrid have evolved since its inception:

“Hybrid IT is not a new concept, but incentives for its implementation and benefits must be made clear in the age of digital transformation. Growth is a keyword for every industry when it comes to IT. Workloads are larger and more demanding, and IT environments and infrastructure of all kinds are growing as a result.”

-Mike Fuhrman, CTO at Peak 10

The reality is that most companies need multiple delivery models; the most effective IT strategy is for them to combine public and private clouds, as well as managed hosting and managed services, on and off premises. According to Peak 10’s 2017 Hybrid IT Study: A Solid Business Case for Mixed Infrastructure, the primary reason businesses choose a hybrid environment is simply because it’s what they want. The details are less relevant than the fact that a hybrid environment makes justifiable business sense.

They likely have particular workloads which are required to remain on premise, other workloads which fit best within the cloud, or perhaps some that make the most sense in a colocated environment. IT decision makers want the best of both worlds—no more, no less.

In terms of specifics, the top four factors that Peak 10 Hybrid IT study respondents listed for choosing a hybrid environment are:

  1. Cost control-21%
  2. Resilience/reliability-19%
  3. Security/compliance-17%
  4. Scalability/flexibility-17%

“One size does not fit all, from an infrastructure management perspective…Hybrid allows us to choose when it is appropriate to host resources in-house, versus farm it out to our cloud platform…or to allow the software vendor to be the service provider (SaaS).”

- Peak 10 survey respondent

Developing and deploying a hybrid cloud strategy isn’t always easy, though. Proper integration and data center migration considerations need to be made. Plus, a greater diversity of systems means increased complexity. So where do you begin?

Getting Started with Hybrid IT

Assess Your Applications

First, take stock of your applications. How do they use current cloud computing and data center resources? Do they run in the cloud if local resources fail? Do they require bursting to expand? Do you have some cloud applications, and others which rely on private resources?

If part of an application will reside permanently in the public cloud, begin planning in the cloud. There are variations among Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) in terms of support and pricing, so investigate multiple CSPs and compare offerings. Match the options to your in-house integration resources, and select the ones that offer the best mix of capabilities and cost effectiveness.

The Budget Factor

You’ll also need to look at your budget. If you’re focusing most of your IT dollars on cloud resources, carefully assess the cost and features of public cloud services.

Determine what your optimum public cloud choice would look like and adapt your application integration plans accordingly. If only a small portion of your budget is dedicated to the cloud, your internal IT resources should take precedence in your strategy. With a hybrid IT strategy focused on private resources, your goal is going to be to create a cloud computing strategy optimized to your existing applications.

Don’t forget to examine the interfaces that are needed. Are any defined by your current application workflow? Align the necessary cloud capabilities and costs to support these interfaces.

Next Steps: Do You Have a Hybrid Partner?

A strong start to planning your hybrid IT strategy can make a big difference, and for many businesses, that means partnering with an expert. According to the Peak 10 Hybrid IT Study:

  • Nearly 100% of businesses feel that hybrid expertise is essential in an IT partner.
  • Organizations want IT providers who recognize and respect their deliberate choice to use a hybrid IT strategy.
  • Most IT decision makers say their IT partners have a high level of influence when it comes to their IT decisions.

“When you have 100+ systems, the necessity of integration and connectivity, it’s important to have a partner. Anything more than 5 systems and you’ll need a partner.”

- Peak 10 survey respondent

Our Hybrid IT Study demonstrated that there are many business cases for utilizing specific infrastructures types and creating a unique hybrid IT strategy, and it’s critical to keep these factors in mind if you’re just starting out. To learn more about why businesses are using hybrid IT and how you can optimize it to deliver the most advantages, see Peak 10’s Industry Spotlight: Hybrid IT, or contact us at www.peak10.com/contact-us or (866) 473-2510 to speak with one of our experts today.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest