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CIOs are under pressure to modernize the data center to create a more agile infrastructure and meet business demands. Modernization is a priority, and, for many organizations, migration to the cloud appears to meet the changing demands on IT.

However, it is not the only option, and cloud migration may not be the best choice for certain workloads.

Instead, Hybrid IT is emerging as a strategy that enables transformation and agility, while protecting investment and providing the stability that mission-critical legacy applications require.

Balance Workload Requirements

Hybrid IT brings together on-premise environments, private and public cloud, and the latest network technologies. It enables IT to finance operations through both CAPEX and OPEX models and strikes the essential balance between stability and agility. A Hybrid strategy also makes best use of the skills and experience in the IT team.

Adopting a Hybrid IT strategy gives CIOs the opportunity to allocate the right resources to each workload on a case-by-case basis. At a simple level, that might mean retaining mission critical applications like ERP on-premise, while migrating business productivity applications to the cloud.

However, the strategy can be refined by considering the potential benefits or added value of cloud migration for each workload. Moving productivity applications to the cloud is a natural choice because it improves access and mobility enabling employees to work effectively from any location.

Assess Migration Potential

While mobile access to mission-critical applications may be less of a priority, it could add value to the application by enabling other locations or remote users to access systems without the need for expensive dedicated networks.

With a number of cloud providers adding mainframe resources to their infrastructure, putting mission-critical applications in the cloud is now a practical reality. If security and compliance are stronger determining factors, then on-premise deployment can remain part of the Hybrid strategy.

Reviewing different workloads and assessing the potential benefits of ‘stay or migrate’ enables CIOs to prioritize migration plans and adopt a phased approach to data center modernization. Planning should also take account of factors such as scalability, compliance and business continuity to achieve balance.

Modernization Across the Hybrid Environment

However, on-premise applications do not have to remain static. Taking a software-defined approach to monitoring and managing infrastructure means that legacy applications and services can take advantage of automation and other technologies to improve operational efficiency.

A Hybrid IT approach doesn’t just balance the requirements of different workloads; it enables CIOs to make the best use of the skills in their team. An IT team responsible for managing a predominately on-premise environment may not have the skills to deal efficiently with cloud deployments.

Utilizing hosted services within the Hybrid environment shifts responsibility to the service provider, leaving the IT team to continue running on-premise systems. Adding managed services to the mix could then free the on-site team to focus on more strategic tasks.

Overall, a Hybrid IT strategy offers many flexible options for balancing workload requirements with data center modernization and digital transformation. With careful planning and a phased approach to migration, CIOs can continue to balance stability with agility.

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