Hybrid cloud is about choice

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Demands on IT architects are high. Among their myriad responsibilities, they’re called upon to align IT strategy with changing operational and regulatory requirements, respond to changes in a timely manner and secure and consolidate traditional IT systems with new applications to reduce costs.

They’re also faced with the task of creating architectural solutions that drive innovation within the company, reduce time to market, and mitigate shadow IT. And on top of all of that, they’re pressured to modernize and integrate existing apps and balance existing workloads more efficiently.

All of these demands compete with one another for infrastructure and design resources. When creating IT solutions, this often puts an IT architect in the difficult position of saying “no” to the requests of, well, everyone from internal stakeholders to B2B partners.

Let’s say our IT architect, Julia, works for a bank, and her in-house development team wants to jump-start the creation of a mobile app. There are out-of-the-box cloud services that the developers are clamoring to implement into their development process. However, because the app will need to interact with legacy systems of record such as traditional databases, Julia is limited to solutions that can be deployed inside her bank’s firewall.

As a result, she’s forced to deny the request. So the in-house development team either has to use existing systems that aren’t built for mobile development, or they sneak off to a public cloud provider to build it with cloud resources on their own.

Cloud resources encourage innovation

Instead of Julia being faced with an either/or situation, a better solution is an architecture that enables on-premises and cloud-based computing resources to work together, namely hybrid cloud computing. Readily available cloud resources put control back into the hands of the people who are creating and designing infrastructure solutions in an organization. By integrating these cloud resources with traditional IT infrastructure in a hybrid cloud environment, IT architects leverage their secure enterprise systems of record to accelerate and simplify application delivery, speeding up service innovation and time to market.


Hybrid cloud solutions also allow companies to tap into the transformative power of data in order to deliver customer experiences that capture a large market share. Hybrid cloud fosters innovation by providing access to open APIs that allow users to incorporate third-party innovations and disruptive technologies into new applications.

Choosing the best of hybrid cloud

When Julia implements a hybrid cloud approach to her bank’s IT infrastructure, the end of the story presented earlier changes. By deploying a private cloud infrastructure on premises, she controls and delegates the features, functionality, and resources available to internal users, and she can empower the in-house development team with the tools they need to quickly build and iterate upon their mobile app concept while maintaining secure connection to the bank’s databases behind the firewall.

Hybrid cloud solutions empower IT architects with the resources they need to provision the cloud tools that meet those stakeholder needs. In short, hybrid allows IT architects to say, “Yes!”

To learn more about the benefits of hybrid cloud and how it can help you incorporate more choice in your IT environment, download our free paper, “Hybrid Cloud is About Choice,” which explains how businesses are leveraging hybrid cloud to be more agile, deliver better customer experiences, and support new business models.

This article was originally published on the IBM developerWorks blog.

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