Now through 2013 is the period ”Hybrid IT” will help enterprises harness cloud computing. Hybrid IT is a new paradigm for IT management, enabling organizations to benefit from cloud computing’s low cost, infinite storage, and powerful and flexible central performance unit (CPU) platforms. All these positive capabilities are accessible while still preserving the idea of maintaining control of data as if it were stored on premises. Hybrid IT is a “win/win” scenario for both the IT manager and the chief financial officer.
From small to mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to the Fortune 1000, organizations will move parts of their IT infrastructure to the Cloud. For the SMEs, Hybrid IT will level the playing field by enabling organizations to adopt strategic hierarchical storage management (HSM) and Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) features without breaking the technology budget. For larger enterprises, Hybrid IT will introduce new cost savings by allowing them to allocate portions of their storage environments to the Cloud and eliminate the hardware, software and management costs previously associated with keeping those activities on site.
New software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications built specifically for the Cloud will act essentially as an extension of the customer’s own data center. These Cloud-powered SaaS services enable organizations to strategically and tactically meld SaaS functions with on-premise servers. This is an important development on two fronts. First, the ability to use hybrid functions allows the enterprise to on-ramp into the Cloud without making a wholesale conversion. Second, the Cloud is perfect for back office applications that subsets of employees use. As businesses get more comfortable with the Cloud they can migrate more of their data processing needs to Cloud CPU and storage.
As a result of these technological advances, organizations will leverage the Cloud’s on-demand CPU to power through terabytes of content for large searches or deep analytics. With better business intelligence culled from employee generated content across the organization, businesses will unlock the previously inaccessible value of their data and gain new insights to their customers and operations.
As further evidence of this trend, Forrester published a January 2009 survey highlighting that over half of the respondents anticipated using a mixture of on-premises and cloud-based services for email and collaboration.
Cloud-powered archiving will help organizations focus on long-term growth initiatives. Cloud-powered archiving is an example of Hybrid IT service. The customer retains their existing messaging server on-premises, but uses a Cloud-based SaaS service to provide data archiving and analytics capabilities.
Hybrid IT is ushering in a new wave of computing that will be as profound as the change from mainframes to minicomputers or client-server to the web. Hybrid IT will also help leverage the Cloud in a way that is comfortable to the early adopters, while also satisfying valuable IT goals: Do more with Less. Hybrid IT requires new software development skills and technology frameworks to build SaaS applications that can use the Clouds positive attributes: scale and low cost. To leverage the Cloud also requires new IT management skills for the individuals who manage SaaS applications, which will result in an enormous payoff for end users.