Shifting Into The Fast Lane With Hybrid Cloud
By Bill Karpovich
Cloud is now ubiquitous, with three-quarters of organizations adopting cloud capabilities for speed and scalability. However, the popularity and benefits of cloud don’t mean that enterprises are discarding their traditional IT systems. Evidence is mounting that the future of IT will be hybrid. IDC predicts that over 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017.
The IBM Center for Applied Insights’s study, Growing Up Hybrid: Accelerating Digital Transformation – showcases findings from a global study of 500 hybrid cloud implementers – organizations that integrate cloud resources with existing IT infrastructure.
Some companies have strategically chosen hybrid cloud and are working toward comprehensive and orchestrated management of their hybrid environment. For others, hybrid is a state they find themselves in due to the organic growth of their IT infrastructure, and they may not yet have a clear strategy or complete control over the blended environment. The mix of traditional IT and cloud continues to shift as organizations turn to private and public cloud to meet changing business priorities.
One thing is clear: These implementers believe in the inevitability and business value of a hybrid future. Seventy percent report they’ll always have a blend of traditional IT and cloud. And two-thirds of these organizations report they’re already gaining advantage from their hybrid environments.
Frontrunners: Already in the hybrid fast lane
The study identified a group of hybrid leaders – frontrunner organizations that gain competitive advantage through hybrid cloud and manage their environment in an integrated, comprehensive manner for high visibility and control.
These leaders have shifted into the fast lane with hybrid: 9 in 10 Frontrunners report that hybrid cloud is crucial to their business strategy and success, and 9 in 10 Frontrunners say hybrid cloud gives them greater ROI than either an all-traditional or all-cloud environment.
The study looked at a variety of potential business outcomes from hybrid cloud, from foundational benefits like cost reduction and productivity gains, to hybrid as an enabler of business growth and digital change, and hybrid as an enabler of next-generation initiatives. In each case, the Frontrunners outpace other organizations achieving greater payoffs from their hybrid efforts.
Here are a few intriguing data points; you can find a full set of outcomes in the study paper:
- Powering efficiency and productivity. Frontrunners gain more value from hybrid cloud even on these foundational goals. 85% of these hybrid leaders are achieving cost reduction by shifting fixed costs to variable costs and 82% are improving productivity.
- Driving business growth and capturing new markets. Frontrunners unlock the power of hybrid cloud to enable business growth and digital change. 82% of Frontrunners achieve product and service innovation with hybrid, and 79% say that hybrid cloud helps them expand into new markets and serve new customer segments. Remarkably, 85% of Frontrunners report that hybrid cloud is accelerating digital transformation in their organization.
- Jumpstarting next-generation initiatives. The leaders aren’t stopping at efficiency and growth gains. They’re already on the forefront of using hybrid cloud to drive disruptive next-generation initiatives that will keep them on the leading edge. 36% of the Frontrunners are using hybrid cloud to enable cognitive computing initiatives – the use of adaptive, learning systems to glean insights and augment business decisions – and another 42% of them plan to use hybrid for cognitive initiatives in the next 3-5 years.
How can you turbocharge your hybrid cloud efforts?
The study found that – despite their impressive payoffs from hybrid cloud – Frontrunners don’t necessarily think hybrid is easy. In fact, they’re more likely than other groups to cite management complexity and security as concerns.
So how do the Frontrunners overcome these worries and turbocharge their hybrid cloud efforts? The secret fuel appears to have four ingredients:
- Deliberate and comprehensive hybrid strategy. Frontrunners are 3x more likely to have an enterprise-wide hybrid strategy.
- Collaborative culture. Frontrunners bring both IT and business leaders to the table for hybrid decision making, with 85% of the leaders saying hybrid drives more collaboration between IT and Line of Business.
- Advanced hybrid management. For managing their hybrid environment, 76% of Frontrunners use advanced automation, and they’re 5x more likely to be using predictive or prescriptive real-time analytics.
- Improved security and data protection. 79% of Frontrunners say hybrid helps ensure availability and access to critical data.
Is your organization already in the fast lane for hybrid cloud, or is it poking along in the slower lanes? If you want to rocket-fuel your hybrid cloud mission, a good first step is to understand the lessons we’ve learned from the hybrid cloud Frontrunners.
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Article was originally posted here