The data center as we know it is undergoing a transformation. It is no longer the sole domain of the IT organization. Decisions and interests from across the enterprise, including C-suite, IT managers, Lines of Business and operations, are pushing to transform data centers from black boxes of raw processing power to flexible IT backbones enabling rapid innovation.
IT executives understand that the choices they make today will impact enterprise growth and delivery tomorrow. Yet much uncertainty remains. Options are many, new advances are announced almost daily, and companies’ needs vary greatly.
The decision making process is also no longer an either-or proposition: stay solo (on premise) or go cloud-first. While some mission-critical applications will always remain onsite, many others can be outsourced to gain significant business and technology advantages.
Welcome to the world of the Hybrid IT – an infrastructure mix that includes at least one external option beyond on premise data center deployments. It can include data center colocation, managed services, and cloud offerings.
Hybrid IT enables companies to not only aggregate, unify, and scale services, but also do the same to their functionality, creating powerful and highly responsive infrastructure capabilities.
Although it is sometimes confused with hybrid cloud, the two are not synonymous. Hybrid cloud, a combination of private and public cloud offerings, is a subset of the larger hybrid IT strategy.
Hybrid IT is the next frontier (see Figure 1), as Thomas Bittman alluded to during a Gartner webinar titled “Hybrid Clouds and Hybrid IT: The Next Frontier”.
Figure 1: Internal hybrid IT strategy by 2015
Source: Hybrid Clouds and Hybrid IT: The Next Frontier, Gartner 2014
In it he cites business agility as driving adoption of cloud and hybrid IT. He also cites several benefits of the hybrid approach including cost efficiency through competition, increased Capex efficiency, reduced capacity barriers, improved resiliency and leverage the cloud without the lock-in.
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