What is a hybrid IT strategy?

A hybrid IT strategy is where neither 100% cloud or 100% physical infrastructure is used. There is a mix of cloud services and in-house services being used within the IT environment. Hybrid IT strategy allows businesses to maintain a centralised approach whilst also utilising the benefits of cloud such as its' scalability, performance and a generally reduced price.

Over the last 6 years, hybrid IT strategies have seen a growth in popularity. With recent surveys reporting that 67% have adopted hybrid cloud. This rise can be attributed to three key forces:

  • A need to maintain control of data
  • The cost-effectiveness of cloud components (e.g. Software-as-a-Service, Storage-as-a-Service)
  • A desire to respond rapidly to changing business needs and priorities.

What the benefits of a hybrid IT strategy?

A hybrid IT strategy allows businesses to maximise the benefits that both approaches offer: the control and easy access of an on-premise solution, with the convenience, scalability, cost and collaboration benefits of a cloud platform. It allows businesses to scale resources for each workload and choose the best application for the job. Furthermore, data can be stored where regulatory or security requirements dictate. For example, a law firm may choose to store their most sensitive data in a private cloud platform, rather than a public one.

One of the benefits of a hybrid approach is that it offers different levels of sophistication. For example, you can have deep integration between cloud and private/on-premise environments, or more simplistic, static connections designed to serve a functional need.

Another reason businesses are adopting a hybrid IT strategy is that it allows them to develop and test new applications in the cloud, before moving them back into the on-premise or private environment. This because you can rely on the cloud environment for fast, on-demand capacity, which allows new applications to be quickly prototyped and rapidly deployed.

In short...

If you're considering a hybrid approach then we recommend you kick off with a small pilot. Once you are comfortable with the ins and outs of the hybrid model you can then roll it out further. Although the initial project may be small you should keep scalability in mind. The infrastructure you deploy should be ready for growth and capable of delivering an ROI within a defined time period.

While hybrid IT can bring many benefits to your business, success largely rests on the management put in place. There must be a single administrative console which controls both the cloud and on-premises assets. This console must also use a unified set of security, user and application policies.

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