Hybrid infrastructure helps CIOs keep pace with the speed of tech

By Scott Koegler

Some trends are likely to continue to influence the IT world for the foreseeable future. AI capabilities will play more important roles, autonomous cars will affect multiple industries and the IoT will continue to expand to deliver even more data. Though CIOs can effectively predict the growth and evolution of these technology trends, newer additions to the tech landscape are still largely unknown. Even so, it's up to the CIO to look beyond to changes that are unpredictable. CIOs must use their ingenuity to build a flexible infrastructure that can adapt to whatever challenges and opportunities lie ahead.

Forward-thinking CIOs are building IT systems with flexible foundations by integrating apps and all types of data across multi-vendor clouds and on-premises systems, all while employing AI-infused IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) to keep it running flawlessly.

Though it's impossible to predict exactly what effect changes in technology will have, CIOs will have an advantage if they take steps now to build platforms that enable rapid change.

Getting ahead of disruption

Keeping up with changes in technology is no walk in the park, especially since CIOs and their teams tend to find themselves bogged down with keeping the lights on and basic management, with little time to devote to overarching transformational projects. These limitations are compounded even further by the fact that technology is getting so complex that it's becoming difficult for humans to manage on their own. This is where ITaaS comes in, boasting AI capabilities that can help manage IT in ways people alone cannot.

This complexity of technology means CIOs will approach and develop different combinations to serve the specific needs of their companies. When choosing a cloud platform, CIOs must ensure it has a diverse cloud ecosystem complete with a rich set of AI capabilities so it is as flexible as their business needs to be.

A company can be crippled by choosing the wrong cloud platform or worse, doing nothing. A cloud platform with a limited ecosystem of APIs will leave an organization vulnerable to technological twists and turns that could not have been anticipated and subsequently adapted to. And resting on the status quo will leave organizations at a disadvantage as competitors leapfrog them. It's up to inventive IT leaders to take the initiative to partner with line-of-business (LOB) leaders to enable disruption in their own industries before they miss out.

Prioritizing flexibility and agility

The starting point is to build an integrated, hybrid cloud infrastructure to unify internal systems with external services. This delivers the flexibility to quickly and easily innovate using computing facilities already in place. It's a powerful tool that lets CIOs experiment with new concepts and iteratively innovate, including through the use of AI APIs for cognitive cloud apps.

This type of infrastructure doesn't just offer hypothetical benefits that will appear far in the future once new, disruptive technologies rock the boat. Fifty percent of banking executives say hybrid clouds have lowered their total cost of ownership, and 47 percent report improvements in operational efficiency. In addition, 47 percent indicate their changes have facilitated innovations.

It wasn't so long ago that technologies such as the IoT, AI and autonomous vehicles seemed more like science fiction than real possibilities. Organizations that were able to look ahead and put the right systems in place were able to roll with the changes, while others fell behind. Though it's not always possible to predict which technological changes will emerge, enterprises with a flexible, integrated, data-rich infrastructure in place can be nimble as they explore options, respond to competitive threats and drive innovation.