Growing Up Hybrid: The Hybrid Cloud Comes of Age


By Laura Sanders, on

Hybrid cloud is no longer a new approach to getting the most out of your IT infrastructure — it’s the standard. In fact, IDC predicted that 80 percent of all enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017, blending heritage systems with cloud-based environments.

Though widely adopted, many organizations struggle to realize hybrid cloud value beyond short-term efficiency gains. Of course, the journey to realizing business value beyond these gains has been complex. Many organizations fail to implement an intentional strategy that enables them to get the most from their blended environments, which can help avoid much of the trial and error prevalent today.

Getting it right can lead to far greater payoffs. A new IBM Center for Applied Insights (CAI) study, “Growing up hybrid: Accelerating digital transformation,” revealed an elite group of front-runners achieving business benefits at a higher rate than other organizations. These pack leaders are leveraging hybrid cloud to drive digital change, springboarding them into next-generation initiatives such as Internet of Things (IoT) and cognitive computing.

Driving Digital Change With Next-Generation Technologies

These front-runners utilize legacy systems and cloud in hybrid environments, which is the perfect blend to serve as a catalyst for advanced business growth. With an eye on digital change, this special class is focused on product and service innovations, market and customer expansion opportunities and market agility, enabling faster response to dynamic customer requirements.

But how are they getting there? What are they doing that others are not? The study very clearly indicated that front-runners are more intentional about their hybrid cloud strategy. They are better at managing security risks and addressing the complexity of growing their hybrid environments.

Hybrid Cloud Growing Pains

Of course, cloud migration does not come without growing pains. More than 25 percent of front-runners pointed to difficulty integrating legacy IT and cloud environments as a challenge. This is certainly not unique to front-runners, but it is a challenge that front-runners embrace and recognize up front.

To combat challenges, these leaders take an intentional and holistic approach to implementation and management of their hybrid environments. They also place a premium on using sophisticated analytics; in fact, they are five times more likely to use advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics to predict possible outcomes and generate recommendations.

Moving Forward

It’s quite apparent from the study that there’s a common set of characteristics for enterprises that not only move to embrace a hybrid cloud IT infrastructure, but also those that are better able to readily achieve their business goals and objectives.

How important is the hybrid cloud to your organization and its digital future? To learn more from industry leaders using hybrid cloud, read the new IBM study “Growing up hybrid: Accelerating digital transformation.”

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About The Author

Laura Sanders

General Manager for Systems Services, IBM

Laura Sanders is General Manager Systems Services for Global Technology Services (GTS) which is focused on providing the clients and partners the value of a Hybrid IT services model. Previously, Laura served as CTO and GM, Technology and Innovation, GTS. She was responsible for developing, executing and implementing the global technology strategy and architecture and led the GTS Technical Team. Laura started her IBM career as an engineer in Boca Raton during the development and launch of the PS/2. She managed software development for many products including OS/2. Laura received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a MBA in Finance from Tulane University in New Orleans.