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Technology Trends To Watch: It’s a Hybrid World: How to Manage It

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July 3, 2014
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To meet continuously changing business needs and customer demands, keep pace with emerging technologies and stay within– albeit sometimes stretch the limits of – budgets, companies can’t rely on one-size-fits all IT infrastructure solutions.  Most require a broad mix of public cloud, hosted cloud, internal private cloud, legacy computing environments, and traditional outsourcing.  That’s a hybrid technology environment.

The complexity of managing multiple technology models is challenging, and requires IT staff to explore and implement new processes, tools, and organizational models.  In some cases, specialized staff may also be needed. Here are some things to think about to help you manage your hybrid technology environment effectively:

  • Select cloud services that align with your company’s application portfolio and customer requirements. The challenge will be selecting the right cloud architecture model and choosing between two approaches: an open system or a vendor-centric cloud service.

    Open standards can help you avoid vendor lock-in, and allow for customization so you get greater control. A vendor-centric approach, meanwhile, has more predictable costs. It’s also quicker to deliver and easier to manage over the lifetime of the service. To succeed with the open standards approach, you need a skilled, cloud-experienced team.  If your current staff isn’t cloud savvy or finding qualified people is proving difficult, you are probably better off using a vendor solution.

  • Employ cloud orchestration.  It will be vital to providing a single interface for comparing, provisioning, managing and migrating workloads across cloud environments. Your choice of cloud orchestration tool will depend on whether you plan to manage a hybrid cloud environment yourself or outsource it to a service provider.

    If you will be managing it yourself, make sure the tool supports the cloud services you plan to offer. Align with vendors that you already trust for your technology infrastructure. If you’ll be outsourcing, make sure that the service provider has the partnerships and skills to support the cloud services you need. Going with a service provider offers the advantage of a single point of entry to multiple clouds, cloud life-cycle management, and visibility into how different business units use the hybrid environment.

  • Make sure your team includes a cloud architect. The person in this role will work closely with the business to understand application performance and data privacy requirements, and map application service-level requirements to the capabilities of various vendor offerings. That requires an understanding of enterprise architecture, representational state transfer and service-oriented architecture.

    Even if you’ll be outsourcing, you want someone on your team who knows something about open standards and has expertise in various cloud delivery models, including public, private, hybrid, software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service.

Managing multiple technology environments can be challenging.  With the right approach, tools and staff, it doesn’t have to be.

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