How to optimize a hybrid cloud to deliver great user experiences for workers

Why simplifying the user experience has complicated the role of the CIO

Responsibility for maintaining a great user experience (UX) for workers falls on the shoulders of the CIO.

With the rise of the digital workforce and the number of connected devices expected to grow by 500% by 2025, many businesses are adopting a hybrid cloud strategy to enable a seamless UX across virtual, physical and connected environments.

Keeping the worker UX top of mind, CIOs have to consider:

  • Whether to put components on a private cloud, public cloud or within a traditional data center, and where to place them within that infrastructure
  • What solutions and DevOps approaches will ensure agility, reliability, compliance and security; for example, using containers and microservices versus traditional application development approaches
  • What business and IT corporate policies will ensure assets are being secured by systems and employees
  • How to monitor and manage a hybrid cloud infrastructure to enable ongoing, seamless integration and performance across all physical and digital assets

Aligning physical and cloud infrastructures

The back-end physical infrastructure you choose to enable digital tools is critical to driving a great UX. It’s paramount to have a strategy for where to place components, with the end goal of optimizing the front-end digital experience.

Use workplace analytics to address UX, infrastructure optimization and IT compliance challenges

The physical infrastructure has to:

  • Deliver the performance required to power real-time transactions across web applications and cloud services
  • Scale up and down with user demand
  • Automatically request other servers for backup to optimize performance or maintain continuous availability
  • Support user needs as your business grows

For example, if you’re traveling from New York to London and need access to the 24×7 IT support desk cloud service, the server should be able to detect your location change and automatically move that managed connection closer to London for a faster UX.

A hybrid cloud infrastructure provides the flexibility and elasticity needed to support growing volumes of data and workforce expansion.

3 best practices

Successfully managing a hybrid cloud environment requires a combination of the right strategy, services and technology. Here are three best practices to get you started.

1. Evaluate your hybrid cloud strategy with an eye toward the worker UX 

Consider your approach to DevOps across hybrid, multicloud and on-premises environments.

Your teams need the ability to frequently make incremental changes to meet quickly evolving user needs. Think about what technology, services and practices will optimize collaboration between development and operations teams. For example, many enterprises use containers or microservices because they make it easier, faster, safer and more cost effective to make changes to applications or move applications from one computing environment to another.

You also need to identify how your cloud solutions interact with and rely on your physical infrastructure. Ensure that those physical assets are optimized to support the intended value of the cloud service.

2. Evaluate existing support services for the workplace

Traditional, labor-based management efforts can no longer keep pace with digital workforce requirements. You need secure, predictive and proactive workplace support services to effectively manage a hybrid cloud infrastructure and deliver a great, ongoing worker UX. Examples include:

  • IT support desk services to give workers anytime, anywhere personalized support for faster resolution
  • Workplace collaboration services to improve workplace communication, productivity and efficiency
  • Device health services to track the health of all the devices in an organization to ensure worker productivity is uninterrupted
  • Desktop virtualization services to simplify remote worker access to the applications and data they need to do their job, wherever they are located

3. Implement technology for a real-time, 360-degree view of the UX

The next step is to continuously optimize your hybrid infrastructure with a real-time, 360-degree view of each customer journey.

Using solutions like AI and cognitive analytics allow you to turn massive amounts of data about workplace processes and the worker experience into actionable information. You can quickly identify roadblocks and bottlenecks, understand why they are occurring, and quickly fix any issues before they impact workers.