Everything hinges on information technology. Well OK, a lot in any case. Organisations are largely dependent on their IT environment for both administrative processes and production processes. These operations are often largely digitally linked. This means that if IT breaks down, this is a direct threat to your primary business processes – and the continuity of your business as a result.
The computerisation of processes continues relentlessly: the future is digital. It forces companies to view their own organisation in a different light. Where can I gain efficiency, what are the risks and how can I keep my primary process under control? These issues are nothing new as such, but they have gradually become IT-related issues. The question is: is your business set up for this? Is your IT infrastructure ready for the future?
Six core values
Every company pursues the following six core values: maximum continuit and performance, maximum security and compliance, and last but not least ahoge high level of scalability with minimum management constraints. These core values are as old as the business community itself. But because IT is increasingly becoming a determining factor for business processes, these processes are more and more approached from an IT perspective.
In practice, this has resulted in a greater demand for technology that can share resources. Examples are hard- and software virtualisation, shared back-up resources, shared internet connectivity and shared email environments. Today’s IT environments are built to comply with these six core values.
Cloud technology has accelerated this enormously. The cloud is popular, because it adds value in both the short and the long term. SaaS services are scalable, do not require investment of capital and give you easy access to “enterprise-grade” systems. All of this is at a fraction of the costs (you only pay what you purchase) and without any worries for system management and maintenance. You can adapt to changing business needs and market conditions at lightning speed. The functionalities can be set up and provided in-house or purchased as a service via the internet. “IT ready-made”: easy, effective and affordable.
Despite this, a cloud-based model is not always automatically the best solution for your business. Perhaps one size fits all does not apply to you; you may have application environments that cannot be migrated to the cloud (yet) for whatever reason. You may, for example, want to maintain control over certain data. Data that is unique to your organisation. Data that is essential to your business processes and mission, and that you want to keep in your own IaaS environment. You would like to keep part of it on-premise.
The best of both worlds: Hybrid IT
This gives birth to the concept of Hybrid IT: a mix of in-house and cloud-based services that offers the best of both worlds: the ease, the flexibility and the cost and collaboration benefits of a cloud platform, and the control and easy accessibility of having your own server. Choose the most suitable application for each workload and put your data in the best location in terms of security or regulations. Use the cloud for the rapid development and testing of prototypes before storing them in the private environment and using them. For many organisations, Hybrid IT is the best way to keep up with the rapid digital transformation.
This does not change the questions you need to ask yourself. Where can I gain efficiency, what are the risks and how can I keep my primary process under control? What is your Hybrid IT solution’s score for the six core values mentioned: continuity, performance, security, compliance, scalability and management constraints? This will decide your company’s success.
In the coming period I will be writing a blog for each core value with the following approach: pitfalls and recommendations for Hybrid IT management. They are meant for anyone who is planning to switch to a Hybrid IT concept, or who already has a Hybrid IT concept but is wondering whether it is (still) a good match.
I hope you find them enjoyable to read!