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Hybrid IT: The Journey to the Cloud

Kong Yang, Head Geek, SolarWinds | June 2, 2016
An Overview of hybrid IT and the skills needed to manage hybrid environments.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

From traditional on-premises IT to a hybrid strategy driven by the cloud, many businesses, both locally and globally, are making tremendous changes to their technology infrastructure, as the IT market evolves. It is simply a matter of "when" local organizations will move to the cloud, especially since cloud computing is becoming the infrastructure upon which Singapore builds its Smart Nation. 

Putting this into perspective, "IT Trends Report 2016: The Hybrid IT Evolution" identified that 92% of the IT professionals say adopting cloud technologies is important to their organizations' long-term business success and only 8% say their organisations have not migrated any infrastructure to the cloud, compared to 14% in 2015. In addition, according to IDC's latest trend forecast for 2016, "IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2016 Predictions-Leading Digital Transformation to Scale," by 2020 spending on cloud services and related hardware and software will be more than $500 billion globally, which is three times the current level.   

Be it cost savings or the improvement in application agility that organizations are after, one thing is for sure: the need for skilled IT professionals is vital to ensure smooth migration, especially since it is happening now and will continue in the years to come.  

 Hybrid IT 

Nonetheless, in almost all environments, there are workloads that have and will most likely remain on-premises for the foreseeable future. This reality has become known as hybrid IT: migrating some infrastructure to the cloud, while continuing to maintain some critical services onsite. Concurrently, the reliance on applications to conduct business continues to grow, which creates higher performance expectations.

As a result of this shift, many organizations have moved some infrastructure elements to the cloud. - Combined with heightened performance expectations in an app-driven business world, IT for business have become even more pressured and complex.

IT professionals operating in hybrid environments are not only responsible for the automation and orchestration of computer hardware, software, databases, networks, virtualized systems and other software-defined elements of the on-premises IT infrastructure, but are also required to manage the integration of cloud services, as well as ensure acceptable QoS to meet the business performance needs for any given service delivered via a cloud service provider.

Although the actual role of the "hybrid IT professional" will vary based on every individual business' needs, the role commonly entails such activities as managing service-level agreements with cloud providers, optimizing the performance of infrastructure and applications both on-premises and in the cloud, along with migrating and provisioning resources to the cloud. Hybrid IT pros will need to become polymaths in order to be successful as they will pivot across multiple domains and skillsets. 

 

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