We’ve reached a tipping point for digital adoption. With an estimated 50 billion devices expected to be connected to the internet by the year 2020, digital is transforming our lives more than ever before. As a result, the growth in cloud services is increasing at an irresistible rate.
Cloud continues to make digital services more effective than ever before. For the IT department this means fundamental restructuring and re-skilling; for the business, it means transformative improvements in the speed, flexibility, efficiency, competitiveness and innovative potential of the organisation. One thing is clear – it has huge potential.
In 2017 more cloud platforms than ever before can come together to provide business services for the enterprise. Public cloud platforms are already maturing, and there are more opportunities for organisations to integrate multiple public and private cloud services into their legacy systems. Soon, businesses who don’t adopt cloud platforms will risk falling behind competitors and face high costs – organisations can no longer afford to rely on legacy systems.
But this growth of cloud creates complexity. The cloud can be a disparate and fragmented space – making the new world of fast IT is highly desirable, but also quite difficult to achieve.
The challenge now comes in integrating the legacy estate into an ecosystem of third party public cloud platforms in a seamless way, that all provide “best of breed” business services. So how do businesses achieve this?
Implementing a hybrid IT strategy
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Businesses want to be agiler and enjoy greater flexibility. They also want to take advantage of new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data. The foundation to all of this is the cloud. But to effectively embrace cloud and an organisation’s current estate, businesses need to consider a hybrid IT approach that allows businesses to embrace fast IT while leveraging existing legacy systems.
A hybrid IT strategy is more of a journey than a one-off change. There are tools available to support this to address the challenges and mitigate the risks including the difficulties of integrating new and old systems, getting technical services to the proper scale and overarching growing complexity. Digital enablement platforms, for example, can help businesses manage the different speeds of IT while allowing for robust security, visibility across multiple cloud platforms and effective cost management.
Orchestrating a hybrid IT environment can be complex and challenging. It is also a balancing act involving many other factors. Agility, fast delivery, automation, compliance and security all need to be catered for when designing the right service. But by working with the right partner, it is achievable. Success is all about how the service, supply, processes and people knit together to deliver a secure, seamless customer experience. By understanding the strategic goals and understanding the business’ specific needs, organisations will quickly understand the value of a Hybrid IT strategy.
Connecting technology with humans
Hybrid cloud services provide a great platform for organisations to leverage human-centric ICT services due to the inherent connectivity, scaling potential and commercial models. So once a hybrid IT strategy is in place, organisations can start thinking and creating new services without constraints helping employees to do their jobs more effectively.
For example, if a gas engineer fixing a boiler at a resident’s house is missing a part, with the click of a button they can check whether there is a nearby engineer with the part required. This means that the customer is happy that their issue is fixed “first time” and the utility company is pleased as they are not spending more time and cost rearranging the second call out.
Also, digital technologies also have the potential to change the nature of training, meaning that individuals can have personalised training suited to the needs and requirements of their role. For example, if a lone worker is struggling to fix a broken pipe, there is the potential for the worker to stream the problem live to the back-office through a camera on their helmet to ask for assistance.
By using technologies to enable workforces to collaborate, technology and humans can work together more efficiently, cutting out the need for complete automation.
Cloud will only continue to have a huge impact on our day-to-day lives so having a hybrid IT strategy in place is vital if organisations are to create the “best of breed” service for customers. New innovative services such as IoT has a lot of potential in 2017 but need a secure and scalable platform to sit on, making it critical for organisations have the right foundations in place.
Collaborating with the right partners is critical to the success of organisations transformation agendas. By navigating the journey to achieve an ideal balance of Hybrid IT services, there will be huge benefits not only for efficiency and agility but employees too. Hybrid IT, if implemented correctly, should allow organisations to digitise with confidence.