Hybrid cloud puts IT agility into the business

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As the pace of business accelerates, mobile and social trends tend to influence customer engagement models. These models can drive customers to expect new and better application services that are delivered faster than ever. Succeeding in today’s business environment requires organizations to be ready to transform quickly. Making sure business applications run smoothly is vital, but you also need an IT environment that’s optimized for fast, efficient service delivery.

How do you create a more agile, scalable and efficient IT infrastructure? For many organizations, the answer lies in hybrid clouds. A hybrid cloud can provide the architectural framework for a dynamic IT environment — one that can handle unpredictable fluctuations in usage and open up new possibilities for optimizing the customer experience across the enterprise.

The flexibility in a hybrid cloud model is demonstrated by the ability to change development models whenever business needs change. A hybrid cloud offers a unified environment across a combination of deployment models, which helps improve operational agility and responsiveness. Not surprisingly, the hybrid cloud is becoming the optimum approach for organizations that need to respond quickly to changing customer expectations while meeting increased compute, networking and storage demands.

Understanding hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud environment integrates traditional IT with a combination of public, private or managed cloud services. In essence, a hybrid cloud becomes a virtual computing environment that may combine services in a public cloud with services from a combination of environments. In doing so, it can deliver the right service level and flexibility to meet continuously shifting business requirements.

As a distributed system, a hybrid cloud can enable companies to leverage a series of services that are well suited for the task at hand. For example, an organization may use its data center to manage customer transactions. Those transactions are then connected with a public cloud in which the company has created a web‐based, front‐end and mobile interface to allow customers to purchase products online.

The company might also use a series of public cloud–based applications that control customer service details. At the same time, it may need to use extra compute capabilities from a public cloud provider during peak holiday periods. Ultimately, the hybrid cloud can deliver choice. You have the capability to use the right type of cloud service to support the right workloads at the right time.

Building an analytics framework

Emerging competitors that use data, analytics and mobile technologies to serve customers in new ways are rapidly disrupting traditional businesses. A hybrid cloud infrastructure is imperative for a successful analytics strategy because of the need to support varying workloads and requirements for big data.

Driving better business decisions with analytics typically requires bringing together multiple sources of data from different systems. In addition, your results often need to be available in real time. Meeting these real-time requirements requires compute power and storage that can be highly variable depending on your exact needs. You need the capability to access, move, refine and analyze all types and volumes of data to support predictive models and emerging cognitive computing capabilities. The hybrid cloud environment meets these needs by offering a streamlined and innovative foundation for big data analytics.

Driving transformation at the pace of business

To successfully compete in the digital era, organizations need to respond quickly to changing market conditions. That agility means supporting the right deployment model while maintaining access to the right data and the right workloads. A hybrid cloud helps meet these needs, allowing you to build new services on top of core business applications while ensuring seamless integration with the rest of your IT infrastructure.

Learn more about how to start your hybrid cloud journey.

General Manager for Strategy & Development, IBM Systems

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