Successful Hybrid IT Deployment by Accident? Nope, It Takes Planning

You may be familiar with the story of the accidental discovery of the world’s first antibiotic, penicillin

The breakthrough occurred in 1928 when a doctor returned to his lab after a two-week vacation to find a “fluffy white mass” in a petri dish previously contaminated with bacteria. Upon closer examination, he was surprised to find that he had discovered a mold that prevented the normal growth of bacteria.

History is full of examples of people achieving positive results through accidental endeavors. A recent survey by Forrester Research tells us that a successful hybrid IT implementation is NOT one of them. To implement a successful hybrid IT strategy, comprehensive planning is vital.

In the fall of 2017, Forrester conducted an online survey with 562 IT decision makers worldwide who are trying to lead their organization through a digital transformation. The survey posed questions regarding technologies they were using, challenges they experienced, and benefits of a hybrid IT model. Forrester complied the results into a new white paper, Hybrid IT strategy insights: Composable infrastructure and business breakthroughs.

Three key findings in the Forrester research stand out:

  • Organizations with a comprehensive hybrid IT strategy are more likely to achieve success.
  • Adopting two technologies (composable and continuous delivery automation) lead to better business benefits.
  • Successful hybrid IT strategies are designed so that IT maintains an essential role.

Develop hybrid IT by design – not by accident

It seems hard to believe, but the survey found that just 33% of organizations actually designed a comprehensive hybrid IT strategy from the ground up before implementing one. That means a full two-thirds of the respondents said that they ended up with hybrid IT by accident. And those that just happened upon hybrid IT are often seeing their implementations spin out of control. According to the Forrester report:

“The result is a hybrid model by accident: integrating public cloud with on premises tech without standardizing on a common infrastructure-as code practice, shadow IT cloud ‘experiments’ that suddenly become production, and outdated governance practices that slow everyone down. Leaders end up with a model that fails to elevate IT beyond back-end operations, fails to live up to the hybrid IT’s potential, and ultimately confuses operations for everyone.”

Two key factors promote success

Businesses that design their hybrid IT strategy by implementing two key technologies are more successful. These technologies include the use of continuous delivery automation and composable infrastructure.

Continuous delivery is important because it promotes a constant, iterative development environment that is essential for keeping up with the changing needs of users. Composable infrastructure is also vital because it allows infrastructure to be treated as software code. IT operators can quickly and easily construct new infrastructure from a collection of building blocks, using software-defined, policy-based templates.

Businesses that adopt continuous delivery combined with composable infrastructure report greater control over their workloads— 61% say they have extremely high levels of control, compared to 24% of those without these two technologies. Both technologies used together allow organization to better overcome challenges, realize innovation faster, and gain greater control over workloads. (It’s interesting to note that when a business only deployed one of these technologies, it did not experience the same high-quality benefits as those that adopted both.)

The role of IT leaders in hybrid IT

IT leaders who wish to remain relevant are taking a more active role as their businesses strive to compete more effectively in today’s digital world. Fifty-six percent of the Forrester survey respondents state that positioning IT as a central part of the organization is an important element of their hybrid IT strategy — more than any other element.

IT must think beyond maintaining back-end functions. Making this transition means concentrating more on maximizing speed, scale, reliability, and cost flexibility. A successfully implemented hybrid IT infrastructure helps IT deliver the benefits of public cloud while maintaining control and reducing costs. And it also elevates IT as an essential part of the business.

Hybrid IT by design is the better option

IT professionals have a lot riding on their hybrid IT strategy. These models must have the flexibility and scalability to handle increasingly complex environments where workloads can live anywhere. Yet, success rarely happens by accident. To stack the odds of a successful hybrid IT deployment in your favor (both for yourself and your business), develop a comprehensive plan that includes the use of continuous delivery automation and composable infrastructure.

Download the Forrester research report, Hybrid IT strategy insights: Composable infrastructure and business breakthroughs, to see the complete analysis, statistics, and recommendations.

About Gary Thome

Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He is responsible for the Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has assembled an array of resources that are helping businesses succeed in a hybrid cloud world. Learn about HPE’s approach to developing and managing hybrid cloud by checking out the HPE OneSphere website. And to find out how HPE can help you determine an application placement strategy that meets your service level agreements, visit HPE Pointnext.

To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure blog.