What is Hybrid IT? Future Trends in IT

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    With so many new IT trends popping up, it’s hard to keep track of them all. One of those trends includes hybrid IT. Many organisations are taking a hybrid IT approach to their IT operations due to its ability to easily adopt cloud services while taking on sensitive and legacy workloads on-premises. 

    But what is hybrid IT and how can it help your enterprise? 

    Have no fear! We’re here to de-mystify it all and help you get started. Read on to find out about this future IT trend. 


    What is hybrid IT? 

    Hybrid IT is the notion that you can use multiple IT infrastructures to deliver computing services across an enterprise. Most often, hybrid IT refers to a situation where a company uses both legacy and on-premises computing alongside public and private cloud. The purpose of this is to combine the governance advantages of on-premises systems with the storage and flexibility of the cloud. 

    How are others approaching hybrid IT and hybrid cloud?

    In the past, hybrid IT just meant using both on- and off-site computing resources, but the definition has now been extended to incorporate added complexity offered by new systems. In the past, only cloud providers provided cloud services, but increasingly companies are bringing these functions in-house and managing them internally. Today, hybrid IT is a mix of private and public cloud, as well as legacy resources. 

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    The benefits and challenges of hybrid IT

    Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of hybrid IT. 

    The benefits of hybrid IT

    The ability to meet company-specific needs is one of the primary benefits of hybrid IT. Enterprises can develop systems that enable them to serve their customers better or enhance the productivity of their employees. For instance, hybrid IT allows IT managers to tailor networks to specific workloads or applications, making them more robust, reliable and user-friendly. 

    Hybrid IT is also a competitive space, with companies able to choose from a variety of providers, such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and in-house private cloud solutions. 

    The challenges of hybrid IT

    More complex IT infrastructures also present a range of challenges to firms. It can be difficult, for instance, to integrate legacy networks with modern cloud solutions. Disconnected systems can also lead to malfunctioning business processes, service interruptions and incompatibilities. Therefore, there’s a constant need to manage complexities which can be costly. 


    Future trends in hybrid IT

    Changing approaches to hybrid IT

    The increasing complexity of hybrid IT is forcing many companies to adopt radical new approaches to managing their infrastructure. As David Linthicum, chief strategy officer at Deloitte points out: companies will go one of two ways. Either they’ll switch to a full cloud provider model or stop their progress towards hybrid IT until they can figure out ways to overcome the IT computing problems that they face. 

    Hybrid IT, therefore, may fail as a concept unless companies can become thought leaders and make it work. The inflexion point could come sooner than many expect, according to Linthicum, possibly as early as 2020. 


    The need for IT talent is increasing

    It should be clear to the majority of IT professionals (and the businesses that they represent) that the need for IT talent is rising. Firms need people with the skills to facilitate hybrid IT integration, often at the level of code. 

    The complexity of the job scales with the demands of the technology. In the past, IT operations teams might have had to manage just a handful of databases. Today, that number could be dozens, owing to the rise of fragmented data sources. 

    Finding competent IT professionals can be a challenge. The market for their services is highly competitive. Companies, therefore, need to think beyond traditional hiring models and perhaps look for opportunities to seek out the professional services that they need on-demand, gaining access to critical skills, but avoiding the premium salaries that come with full-time PAYE. They may also want to scale back their hybrid IT ambitions, relying instead on full-cloud services, although this comes with costs. 

    Unified infrastructure is key

    Currently, the approach to hybrid IT is somewhat piecemeal. Few companies operate unified infrastructure solutions that enable them to manage both their legacy and cloud operations all through a single platform. 

    Unified infrastructure management or UIM is fast becoming a go-to solution for enterprises wanting to get a handle on the complexity of the new IT environments in which they find themselves. The primary purpose of these platforms is to bring together things like the ITSM environment and cloud admin consoles into a single framework that can manage the rest of the infrastructure. UIM infrastructure can also help to enlighten IT professionals who may not understand the structure of their existing networks by providing tools that organise IT assets and show third party vendor solutions. 

    A range of companies already provides UIMs that help enterprises operate more effectively in a hybrid IT environment. These services make it easier to coordinate action across both cloud and local environments. 


    Implement the right hybrid IT for your enterprise

    Hybrid IT has introduced considerable complexity to the infrastructure of the average business IT network. A combination of cloud and legacy services now means that IT operations departments must manage a far more complex array of assets than in the past, many of which may not talk to each other effectively. 

    Based on current trajectories, enterprises face a stark choice: either go full cloud and miss out on the governance benefits of using legacy systems or stop IT advances entirely before difficulties in the hybrid approach can be worked out.

    There is, however, a third option. Instead of hiring difficult-to-find IT professionals, use UIMs. UIM platforms bring together all IT elements that companies into a single framework, cutting costs and providing a more seamless experience. 

    Hybrid IT undoubtedly comes with many benefits, but it also comes with many challenges. It pays, therefore, to do your research and use a specialised IT management service to help you pick the right tailored solution for your business.

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    Rob Townsend

    Rob is a co-founder at Nexstor and has dedicated his career to helping a range of organisations from SME to Enterprise to get ahead of the game when it comes to their compute, storage and data needs.

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