Evolving to an agile enterprise with hybrid IT

Share this post:

Business agility, critical for success these days, starts with having access to the ideas with the highest potential and rapidly validating these ideas in marketplace. Enterprises that want evolve to agile need to implement IT that can manage conflicting challenges of agility and control. 

Traditional business IT has focused on providing a dependable service, with predictable outcomes. Agile enterprises use a cloud first approach, achieve much shorter development times and higher levels of productivity. Hybrid IT combines these two into a balanced platform that maximizes the advantages of both. This model applies to private data centers as well as shared or public cloud services.  

Central to the hybrid IT model are the agile edge and industrialised core. The industrialised core is constantly optimized to achieve economies and cost advantages.  The agile edge provides the environment for rapid experimentation and elastic scaling for exponential adoption. The agility, elasticity and automation attributes of cloud computing are equally valuable to both.

These two environments need to be integrated through data, services and workflows that can accessed from either environment. Both the industrialised core and the agile edge need to provide a simple and consistent set of interfaces for use internally and externally. Under pinning these components is a data platform that houses range of data and data management capabilities, supporting the increasing variety of data and locating data in the most optimal position. Security transitions from managing access across defined boundaries to forensic detection of intrusion from a variety of information sources with effective response mechanisms.

Hybrid IT also brings cultural and organizational change for the traditional IT department. Intensive use of automation across all IT operational and development processes improves productivity and cycle time. This is achieved by creating a high level operational visibility and control environment with Devops disciplines of automated testing and continual integration.

The discipline and underlying technology of portability allows movement of components from the industrialised core to agile edge. When a component is undergoing rapid innovation, it is best made available in the agile edge. Once it has stabilized and needs to be optimized it can move to the industrial core.

Leaders need to drive the evolution to an agile enterprise by establishing compelling beliefs, supported through guiding values and clear practices.

The Hybrid IT Maturity Model can help in this evolution by identifying your current hybrid IT maturity level and the level needed to meet future business demands. Using these insights, a change program can be created that is tuned to the enterprise’s priorities and delivers tangible benefits along the way.  Using tools like the Hybrid IT Maturity assessment can help provide insight into the challenges in this journey and maximise the likelihood of success. The diagram below shows the typical output from a Hybrid IT maturity assessment and helps keep everyone focused on the transformation.

Hybrid IT Maturity Model

Level 1: Initial Level 2: Managed Level 3: Defined Level 4: Quantatively Managed Level 5: Optimising
Agile Edge Home grown and managed omni-channel; Mostly waterfall development Agile development; Frequent function release Internal API provided through PaaS; Internal Hackathons Internal Venture fund; Trialling external APIs; First hackathon Public API; Partner Ecosystem; Regular Hackathons, Venture funding innovations
Industrialised Core Traditional SoR IT approach; Irregular technology refresh; Regular technology refresh (HW and SW) Establish SDE Automated deployments Automated provisioning; Goal driven optimisation Dynamic Automation with learning algorithms
Devops Separate manual development and operations processes Automated deployment; Rapid provisioning; Many manual workarounds Fully automated deployments; Some manual testing Fully automated testing. Automated roll backs Continuous integration and deployment of functions.
Business – IT Partnership IT portfolio managed for business by IT; Business Provides details requirements to IT; Regular portfolio planning and Outcome driven programme releases; Design thinking driven; Agile sprints with regular assessment to tune approach; Route finders to identify the optimal path; Entrepreneur led portfolio; Both value creation and productivity; Venture funding model;
Integrated through Data Hidden interfaces; Tightly controlled access; Some APIs and published through private portal Wide range of APIs; Provided by multiple teams; APis managed as a product portfolio Self-service discover of APIs and data services; Encouraging innovative use;
Effective Security Perimeter control based on system boundaries Common Identity and access control systems Integrated security data with basic analytics Dedicated security analytics through forensics team Constant security intelligence through learning algorithms
Hybrid Management Isolated service management systems; Growing independent business cloud solutions Business cloud solutions inventory based access to a public cloud services; Embryonic collaboration between IT and LoB for business cloud solutions Basic dashboard used to manage all IT services across the business; Business Cloud Solution Portfolio managed by IT (for budgeting and compliance) Integrated Systems and Service Management Cloud Marketplace with optimized usage and control via Service brokerage

Lead IBM Cloud Advisor - Europe

More Hybrid stories

French insurer teams with IBM Services to develop fraud detection solution

Auto insurance fraud costs companies billions of dollars every year. Those losses trickle down to policyholders who absorb some of that risk in policy rate increases. Thélem assurances, a French property and casualty insurer whose motto is “Thélem innovates for you”, has launched an artificial intelligence program, prioritizing a fraud detection use case as its […]

Continue reading

Cloud innovation in real estate: Apleona and IBM rely on new technologies

Digitization does not stop at the proverbial concrete gold — real estate. In fact, the real estate industry is on the move. Companies are realizing the benefits of digital transformation and are capitalizing on the power of new technologies such as cloud, AI and blockchain. Take, for example, Apleona GmbH, one of Europe’s largest real […]

Continue reading

Innovate with Enterprise Design Thinking in the IBM Garage

We’ve all been there. You have an amazing idea that’s really exciting. Maybe it’s a home improvement project, or perhaps it’s a new business idea. You think about all the details required to make it real. But, once you get to the seventh action item, you’re not so excited anymore. Sometimes when we realize the […]

Continue reading