We are moving rapidly into a world where everything computes. Cars that do the driving for us. The connected devices in our homes, and in our pockets. All the sensors being deployed in the service of getting the job done in just about every industry and every business.
All those silicon-based smarts connected to all those sensors are generating massive amounts of data. Data is fast becoming the new oil fueling the digital economy.
And if data is the fuel, applications are the engines – consuming the data, making sense of it, and putting it to work. Applications might show up in the consumer world as a mobile device pushing out an ad at the right time in the right locale. In a commercial setting, it might be a set of applications analyzing data across an organization’s entire global footprint and value chain.
In a world where everything computes, developing and deploying applications is increasingly how every organization – big and small – interacts with its audiences, be it employees, customers, or other constituents. It is by leveraging applications that the best businesses are being transformed. Conversely, those that lack the expertise to develop and deploy applications quickly are being left behind.
This, of course, has not gone unnoticed by organizations across all industries. What our customers want more than anything is a simple and consistent IT experience to run more applications on flexible infrastructure to accommodate their evolving business needs.
So how do businesses get the flexibility they need from IT? How do they seamlessly transform their IT organizations so that they can develop the applications that will transform lines of business, create new revenue streams, and offer more value to their customers?
Hybrid IT is not an exotic technological journey, it’s simply how business works today.
If you spend a lot of time in certain cloud-filled circles, you may get the sense that a grudge match exists between public and private cloud factions and that you had better take sides.
The advice many CIOs were getting – and still are – was they had better hitch their company to as many public cloud services as fast as they could. Some did, and what became evident fairly quickly, for even the most enthusiastic public cloud believers, was that life in the public cloud wasn’t perfect.
The public cloud can be slow and lack the performance you might need. Service level agreements may not meet your business standards. We’ve all witnessed the public cloud outages that have brought down popular consumer and enterprise services and forced some IT shops to move applications around based upon existing service agreements.
Storage costs can add up significantly. And if your competition is also your cloud provider, you could be giving them a vantage point on your intellectual property you don’t want them to have.
Others have preached the virtues of private cloud, hyperconverged systems, and traditional IT. But they too have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cost and scale. The point is, this idea that you are either “off-prem” or “on-prem,” a believer or a heretic, is nonsense.
When it comes to IT, you need the right mix for your business.
Whether you’re running a company, a university, or a non-profit, chances are your organization straddles across many variations of traditional IT and both cloud worlds, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. What you want, in that case, is the “non-denominational” Hybrid IT approach that can be managed seamlessly.
For most companies, data sits in a combination of locations– private cloud, public cloud, and at the edges where data is being gathered. Gartner estimates that 70 to 80 percent of today’s corporate data is locked up in traditional applications environments. By 2020, Gartner also predicts that 75 percent of that data will need to move to cloud-native applications.
The challenge for every organization is finding the right mix at the right scale, speed, and cost, which is the exact purpose of Hybrid IT.
Deploying a Hybrid IT strategy gives you the right solutions at the scale, speed, and cost that’s right for your business.
Hybrid IT is not a steady state. If you picture your mix of data and application types as virtual dials, every organization needs to get comfortable turning those dials up and down to accommodate different needs and different attributes required by any given instance.
For example, say you want the fastest performing application with the lowest possible latency. You’re probably going to want to develop that application internally and deploy it internally to minimize latency. In this case, private cloud is your best bet.
Say you’re developing and testing a new application, but you are not sure that it is going to light the world on fire –and latency isn’t an issue. In this case, you can develop, deploy, and test it in the public cloud with minimal risk.
And what about all those traditional applications that keep your business running? Hybrid IT strategy can help you modernize operations and reduce costs to make more room for new applications that can drive revenue. No one wants to come up with an entirely new set of databases, or a new way of closing the books, they just want to modernize to take cost out and move to a more efficient operational model. The goal is to make more time to work on new applications that can drive revenue. The right Hybrid IT approach can do that too.
Written by Ric Lewis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Software Defined & Cloud Group, HPE