February 25, 2015 | Written by: Ron Kline
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Regardless of what industry you work in, we are all consumers in the digital economy. This economy has all of us demanding more—services that are faster, personalized, accurate, available, and more connected than ever before.
Enterprises are innovating to meet these demands by leveraging core systems that enable the integration of new technologies across the stack. These systems, which cloud computing enables, are the underpinnings of and central to transformation in the digital economy. Specifically, it’s not just cloud—it’s hybrid cloud—that is redefining this new way forward.
At the heart of this new way forward with hybrid lies the concept that not all companies are coming from the same starting point. Companies are dynamic. They grow, diversify, and need to protect their investments while working with changing requirements. Some start with traditional enterprise system investments, some are born on the cloud.
Regardless of where you’re starting, your data and applications become a living, breathing extension of your business strategy, and IT leaders are quickly becoming front line decision makers. As a result, enterprise innovation happens across systems—systems of record, systems of insight, and systems of engagement—where data and services must live in the right environment but also be connected across environments both on and off premises.
You’ve seen it echoed across InterConnect 2015: global businesses and governments are already living in a hybrid cloud world. Some are even hybrid by accident, having deployed a mix of traditional IT, private and public environments in different areas of their enterprise without connecting their systems.
But are they getting the most out of their environments? In my opinion, this point of connection is exactly where the real value of hybrid cloud is realized. Competitive advantage and significant customer value can be achieved by proactively connecting systems of record with systems of insight and systems of engagement. The move to the hybrid model is happening now, with early movers quickly becoming market leaders.
For example, take these two scenarios:
1. Let’s say you are a global retailer and want to deploy a mobile app for your pharmacy. All of your core applications are on premises sitting on z Systems and your customer data is highly sensitive, yet you still need to connect it to your mobile application off premisis. It’s a hybrid cloud solution that will allow you to connect your mobile app with your on-prem applications and databases. (For those at Interconnect, you’ve probably seen the mix of technologies that can to make this happen, including PureApp, z & Power Systems, Bluemix Integration Services).
2. Let’s say you are a growing online retailer looking to expand your business into new markets. You deploy cloud-enabled applications in one country and want to rapidly scale by deploying the solution in another region or country, where you might or might not have capacity in your existing data center. What do you do? Hybrid cloud is making application portability seamless, allowing users to easily deploy, manage, and scale enterprise workloads across different deployment models without change. (For those at Interconnect, you’ve seen these solutions featured in the expo center, across Power8 Linux, IBM Cloud Manager with Openstack, IBM Patterns, Cloud Integration Services, to name a few).
These are two very common scenarios that enterprises face in the digital economy. And in both instances, hybrid cloud is the only solution that can deliver the right client value needed to meet these demands. As Don Rippert said on Day 1 at IBM InterConnect, the term “hybrid cloud” will soon be redundant. In the future it will all be hybrid.