Hybrid IT – balancing risk vs reward
Hybrid IT is the reality of IT for most organisations today – whether they know it or not.
The shift to hybrid brings with it a host of opportunities and challenges. So when I spoke at this year’s Fujitsu Forum in Munich, I explored how organisations could balance the rewards of digitisation against the potential risks.
Today, a growing number of companies are delivering more agile services and offerings through the cloud, while simultaneously relying on the traditional systems that act as the backbone of their organisations.
Hybrid IT joins these two worlds together, by balancing the old and new. It’s the connection between the analogue and the digital, the on-premise and the cloud, the public and private clouds, and the numerous service providers in that ecosystem.
Utilising cloud services for agility has become such a common approach that if companies don’t do it they risk losing their competitive advantage over their rivals. To really get benefit the ‘two speeds’ of IT need to be merged to support the digitalisation of an organisation, helping to foster innovation and the creation of new services whilst critically exploiting the value in existing systems and data.
According to Gartner, 75% of organisations will have adopted bimodal IT in some form by the year 2017.
But it would be wrong to get the impression that the shift to Hybrid IT is straightforward. Indeed, there are many risks that have to be carefully considered. (This is why hybrid cloud computing is currently sat in Gartner’s ‘trough of disillusionment’ on its Hype Cycle report.)
Security, for instance, is back at the top of the agenda following recent high profile security breaches. In a world where the IT department has less and less control, how to secure that network is a rightful consideration.
On top of this, there has been all the discussion around Safe Harbour in recent weeks, with organisations asking themselves how should they respond to the changing legislative environment.
To mitigate any potential downsides of a shift to a Hybrid IT model, organisations should be asking the right questions, such as: How do I integrate these older systems with the new? How do I get those technical services to scale to what my organisation needs?
Growing complexity is also a risk. Hybrid IT brings with it an increasing number of external partners and new layers of services on top of your existing systems. How can you manage all that capacity while still delivering the same consistency and quality of service?
One way of answering these questions is through digital enablement platforms like Fujitsu’s MetaArc (read Hybrid Hive’s coverage of that announcement here). It can help an organisation manage the different speeds of IT, while also allowing for robust security, visibility across multiple cloud platforms, and effective cost management.
The rewards from working with a Hybrid IT model are there to be had – and with the world we’re currently living in, fast and slow IT have to coexist.
Once that is accepted, organisations will start to realise the competitive advantage a Hybrid IT model can bring.
The blog was originally published at the Hybrid Hive.
Image credit: D Sharon Pruitt
Andrew joined Fujitsu in 1997 and has 26 years of experience within the ICT industry across both the public and private sectors.