The business impact of hybrid cloud

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Hybrid-Cloud-Dummies_TOC_400x640_Chapter-6One of the supreme ironies of implementing a hybrid cloud environment is that if you do it right, two things will happen: one, there will be a profound and disruptive, positive impact on business. Two, the business organization will hardly notice that anything has changed.

You read that correctly. If your hybrid cloud implementation is successful, no one on the business side will notice it.

That’s as it should be, because what business users should be noticing isn’t the cloud itself, but all the improvements it enables.

They should be aware of how much faster than competitors they can roll out new apps.

They should know that if customer requirements suddenly change, they can pivot just as quickly to meet those new requirements.

They should find it remarkably easy to glean insights from all the data available to them from a range of sources.

If they don’t know or care where the technology that makes all this possible is located (in the cloud, on premises, or both) and how exactly it operates, that’s the way it ought to be.

One of the hallmarks of a successful hybrid deployment is IT delivering to the business organization the most possible flexibility at the lowest possible cost, without the business organization having to think about it at all.

The invisibility of technology is what business users were seeking back when they first started turning to cloud services such as Dropbox. They didn’t want to have to think about how Dropbox worked or why. They didn’t want to have to jump through hoops to start using it. They just wanted quick access to shared data storage they could easily use every day.

A singular advantage of hybrid cloud is that it enables IT to provide the level of speed and flexibility that business users were after with services such as Dropbox, only without IT concerns about application management and security.

This is part of a longstanding pattern of business users growing impatient with the speed of IT in their organizations and responding by pursuing new technology on their own. It started with buying PCs decades ago, then using personal mobile devices for work and, most recently, downloading business apps from the cloud.

What the hybrid cloud does is make it possible for IT to put powerful resources in the hands of impatient business users just as quickly as they could acquire them independently. At the same time, it enables IT to easily control, manage and secure those resources.

So go ahead. Embrace the hybrid cloud. You’ll be doing business users a tremendous favor, even if they never notice. And you’ll be doing your own IT organization a favor too.

For an interesting discussion of the transformative business impact of hybrid cloud, download the IBM limited-edition book Hybrid Cloud for Dummies. You’ll find it a very useful guide to take along on your journey to hybrid cloud.

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