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Updated by Charles Bystock on 01/08/2020

Enterprise organizations are increasingly seeking hybrid IT models that incorporate both in-house technology resources and cloud-based services. It’s the opposite of the risk-laden “eggs in one basket” approach. The hybrid cloud market is expected to grow to $97.6 billion by 2023, according to research published by MarketsandMarkets. The primary factors driving this growth are the demand for scalability, cost-efficient computing, and interoperability between cloud services and existing systems.

Understanding hybrid models

“Most organizations don’t rely 100% on the cloud.” In fact, 80% of organizations now employ some form of hybrid model. This is particularly true in enterprise organizations that have been slower to adopt an outsourced cloud model from their traditional on-premise server room.

The typical definition of a hybrid IT model leverages some form of cloud computing in tandem with an on-premise technology solution. These models can include on-premise, private, and public cloud. Within each lies a plethora of infrastructure choices. For example, organizations may be restricted by data security regulations and opt for an on-premise or private cloud. Companies leveraging e-commerce may use the cloud to scale up and stay agile.

These models — singularly or in combination — allow for a centralized approach to IT governance. Although sending data to the cloud places the primary burden of infrastructure management with the cloud vendor, best practices should include internal resources devoted to cost monitoring. This is a big concern for enterprise organizations with complex hybrid IT frameworks.

Benefits of hybrid IT

Hybrid IT models are scalable. Understanding that there are overhead costs associated with adding bandwidth to an in-house server room, hybrid models can scale up quickly with no equipment costs. With the focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), it is the hybrid cloud environment’s scalability that makes these models so useful.

Cloud models offer metered usage, allowing companies to only pay for what they use. It’s a rental structure that takes advantage of remote infrastructures, equipment, architectures, and security and maintenance teams. There is economy of scale for IT staffing as well; existing teams can focus on other tasks beyond network administration.

IBM reports the following benefits of cloud models within a hybrid framework:

  • Budgetary shifts from capital to operating expenses, eliminating hardware, infrastructure, and maintenance costs.
  • Smaller companies lacking security talent can leverage cloud expertise.
  • Agility to innovate while maintaining corporate on-premise architectures to meet regulatory requirements.
  • Workload variances demand the ability to scale quickly — the public cloud could handle traffic spikes while the private cloud handles more predictable workloads.

Hybrid models capitalize on the best IT options available, allowing organizations to avoid downsides. However, organizations must manage the complexities of hybrid IT to maximize return on investment (ROI).

Maximizing hybrid IT ROI

Chief information officers (CIOs) recognize the value of hybrid IT. The challenge is selecting the right mix of frameworks with clear success metrics for each. suggests these key performance indicators (KPIs) to maximize hybrid infrastructures:

  • Security and compliance: Reduce risk by knowing where your data resides — even in the cloud.
  • Cloud costs: Tracking the costs of disparate workloads across multiple vendors is complex but necessary. CIOs must instigate tracking controls to avoid overspending on hybrid models.
  • Complexity management: Establish governance models to manage resource access across various infrastructures.
  • Set rules for shadow IT: The flexibility of hybrid models is a plus, but the complexity of a burgeoning infrastructure lends itself to shadow IT. This creates myriad security concerns as departments “go rogue” and bypass in-house IT.

Having a trusted advisor to develop and manage hybrid models can help enterprise organizations meet these KPIs. The Windsor Group adds value to your hybrid IT infrastructure by helping you:

  • Operate more efficiently in the hybrid IT world.
  • Develop a financial model to evaluate and support your IT transformation strategy.
  • Define your cloud strategy and source legacy operations.
  • Establish a support, governance, and operations model for hybrid IT.

When you’re ready to develop a hybrid strategy for your digital transformation, call Windsor Group Sourcing Advisory.