Hybrid IT: The best of all worlds
Ask any CTO about demands on their teams these days and you will get an earful. With every business manager asking for the latest technology innovation to stay current, the strain on IT departments shows. According to a recent study, at least 25 percent of IT projects are abandoned because of limited resources. Those projects that do get implemented are on average five months late. The situation must change.
But, as these same CTOs will attest, providing basic IT services is no longer enough. If IT staff do not help clients achieve their business outcomes with speed and quality—from rolling out new marketing platforms for a better customer experience, to getting a product to market faster, to integrating the supply chain on time and on budget—their clients will go elsewhere for service. The advent of the public cloud has made it oh so easy to do.
Getting to digitally enabled outcomes is the new Holy Grail, one that requires a new approach to IT. To achieve this, IT departments need to build a modernized, digital operating model. They must:
- Modernize their infrastructure and applications for increased agility and security
- Deliver a self-service IT platform, where common services are readily accessible
- Implement flexible consumption models, where the cost aligns to usage
- Ensure application availability, performance, and compliance
How do we get there? The most forward-thinking IT executives are choosing a mix of on-premises, public, and private cloud technology—also known as Hybrid IT. Because neither traditional systems nor cloud-based environments provide the optimal package (speed, security, flexibility, cost), IT executives are choosing to be brokers of a digital supply chain, providing their clients instead with the best of all worlds. This is the key to avoiding those abandoned projects and delays, and forging into a fast, flexible digital future.
Why Hybrid IT’s time has come
Hybrid IT offers technology departments the best of a few worlds. It provides the security and control of in-house IT with the scalability, efficiency, and agility of cloud computing. While cloud environments are growing in popularity because of low start-up costs and flexibility, not all workloads are appropriate for a public cloud environment. Many companies want to keep mission-critical applications and data on premises, citing security and data sovereignty as key concerns.
But corporate IT users are all about the cloud experience—and will pursue it through unofficial channels if the official ones are not equipped to offer it. Hybrid IT allows IT organizations to add “virtual cloud services broker” to their capabilities, eliminating the shadow IT that occurs when business users pursue their own public cloud options. It also allows them to maintain their position as gatekeeper and owner of the company’s overall IT footprint, which makes for better IT governance and compliance.
While most CTOs now use some form of Hybrid IT, many still wonder how to determine the right mix of workloads for each environment—public cloud and on-premises. How do you avoid investing in too many assets, and how will these capabilities mesh?
On-premises, consumption-based (OPCB) deployment can help many companies sort through the workload decisions. This model still allows them the advantages of public cloud, but the on-premises aspect addresses their concerns regarding privacy, data sovereignty, and security. HPE Pointnext has helped a multitude of clients implement the OPCB model. It works best for those who do not want to release operational control but desire the flexibility of an OpEx-based commercial model.
Case study: Bilfinger chooses flexible capacity with an eye to the future
Over the past decade, Bilfinger, an international engineering and service company with almost 60,000 employees, made a large number of acquisitions, broadening its range of offerings. To increase efficiency and become more competitive, the Ballwin, Missouri, company needed to centralize and standardize its IT systems to achieve the flexibility to keep up with its rapid growth.
Recognizing the value in a capacity-on-demand model, Bilfinger chose HPE Flexible Capacity to save capital expenses without needing to worry about running out of storage capacity. With this model, Bilfinger pays for only the data volume actually stored each month. “HPE monitors what we’re using and lets us know if we’re in danger of reaching our limit,” says Jens Reimann, head of the company's data center.
The system provides the IT staff with transparent, easy-to-calculate costs, while also addressing Bilfinger’s potential need to expand storage capacity quickly. “In IT, you can never rule out a surprise problem coming your way,” says Reimann. “But with our new combination of a storage solution and service from HPE, we know we can react to changes as and when they happen.”
The Hybrid IT platform of the future
Beyond today’s hybrid options, HPE’s Project New Hybrid IT Stack platform shows us the future. It will allow users to seamlessly compose, operate, and optimize the right mix of workloads across on-premises, private, hosted, and public clouds. Using a single management dashboard with built-in analytics and controls, users will be able to simply click, compose, and consume resources across their hybrid estate.
IT executives often struggle with predicting and managing costs across an ever-growing, distributed IT system. The Project New Hybrid IT Stack platform gives them insights and analytics across the entire Hybrid IT landscape so they can manage workloads based on business requirements and budgets. A dashboard like this one helps prevent lost revenue due to downtime, helping executives to better allocate resources.
The platform also gives line managers a unified view of business metrics across all tiers—both on and off premises. Being able to view costs by project simplifies billing and chargebacks, as well as ROI analysis. The solution gives them integrated cloud management and infrastructure, which provides more control, lower costs, and higher utilization rates.
Hybrid IT is simply what is Next
The demands of businesses for speedy outcomes, combined with the growing prevalence of cloud, dictate Hybrid IT as the solution of choice for CTOs and their teams. A mix of IT environments is necessary for the foreseeable future simply to meet customer expectations.
Wise IT leaders will not only look at how to balance the mix of technology environments, but also consider how to change processes to accommodate a hybrid landscape. And of course, retraining employees and hiring those with a modern, digital mindset becomes a part of the IT equation—one some CTOs overlook with unhappy consequences.
The good news is, if your company is moving toward Hybrid IT, you are far from alone. Many have gone before you, and many will follow. Finding a trusted partner that can help you envision a Hybrid IT future is crucial to a successful transition. You will need guidance in defining the right next steps not just for evolving technology, but also for people, processes, and consumption models. HPE Pointnext has been that trusted partner for many companies, including DreamWorks Animation, GE Healthcare, and more. We bring our strong and varied ecosystem to bear on helping your company use Hybrid IT to innovate, transforming itself for the future.