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Considerations for making the vision of hybrid IT real

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Kevin Leahy | Group General Manager - Data Centres

Kevin Leahy | Group General Manager – Data Centres

A recent report, by the BPI Network entitled ‘Accelerating Business Transformation Through IT Innovation: Getting the Business Leader Take on the IT Change Mandate’, confirms that business leaders want to migrate as soon as possible to hybrid IT solutions that blend modernised data centres with cloud-enabled technologies. The report is built on the opinions of 250 business executives across a wide range of disciplines in different parts of the world.

According to the report:

  • 70% of business managers believe that a shift to hybrid IT would result in increased agility and responsiveness to changes in business conditions.
  • 44% of those participating in the survey expect their companies to migrate to a hybrid IT model combining both on-premise data centre and cloud.

If you’ve decided to pursue a hybrid IT model, your first question is likely to be: ‘How do I get started?’ Here are some considerations to bear in mind, as you proceed on this journey.

  • Define an architecture that makes it possible: The fundamental choices that you make regarding your architecture will determine how easily you can build, operate, and deliver services within a hybrid IT environment.
  • Applications – where do they belong? Determine where your applications belong. This includes ascertaining their ideal location from a physical and geographical perspective, as well as a consumption perspective.
  • Remember, it’s all about the data: As each of your applications has a dependency on data, you need to define where your data needs to be. How long do you want to retain it? What’s the respective business value of different types of data?
  • Define locations across delivery models: Decide where your workloads should physically be running, and which workloads should be moved to the cloud.
  • Implement automation and management: Setting your policies is a vital step, as it lays the foundation for automation. You can’t automate something that you can’t define.
  • Consider your consumption models and commercial constructs: Ideally, a hybrid IT environment will comprise a blend of services and infrastructure that are dedicated and available all the time, and those that are delivered via a consumption-based model, on demand. Striking the right balance between the two is important.
  • See to your security: Remember that as you move into the world of hybrid IT, you’ll inevitably encounter new threats, as you’re extending your traditional perimeter and exposing aspects of your environment to new locations.

Read my best practice guide for more detail behind each of these considerations.