Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

Getting Hybrid IT Right | @CloudExpo #AI #DX #SaaS #ITaaS #CloudNative

The tech industry is a buzzword-creating machine, but the truth is that all of these buzzwords serve a purpose

Getting Hybrid IT Right
By Charles Araujo, Intellyx Principal Analyst

We define Hybrid IT as a management approach in which organizations create a workload-centric and value-driven integrated technology stack that may include legacy infrastructure, web-scale architectures, private cloud implementations along with public cloud platforms ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Software-as-a-Service.

At Intellyx, we have a mantra that goes something like this: "We love confusion in the market. It gives us something to write about."

Well, if confusion is what we like, Hybrid IT delivers it in spades.

The tech industry is a buzzword-creating machine, but the truth is that all of these buzzwords serve a purpose. As an industry, we are in a constant struggle to distill, comprehend and communicate new and complex ideas that are arising at a dizzying pace. So the industry coins terms to help simplify the process (and maybe sell some stuff along the way).

Hybrid IT is the latest entrant to go mainstream. And like its counterparts, it is rife with confusion, conflicting definitions, and outright abuse.

Unlike many of its fellow buzzwords, however, this one deserves serious attention from any business and IT executive who is trying to navigate their organization through the travails of digital disruption and transformation.

You need to get this one right.

Hybrid IT is an essential concept because it represents a fundamental shift in the way enterprise organizations architect and deploy their technology stack. In fact, as I described in one of my first Cortex pieces, I believe that the adoption of a Hybrid IT strategy is tantamount to envisioning a new digital business architecture.

The Confusion Behind Hybrid IT
The term Hybrid IT suffers from two primary points of confusion. The first is a simple case of mistaken identity.

The term hybrid cloud preceded the term Hybrid IT in management consciousness. Hybrid cloud represents an approach in which an enterprise organization uses on-premises private clouds in some combination with public clouds.

As we'll discuss in a moment, the concept of Hybrid IT can include the integration of private and public clouds. As a result, many people came to see the terms as synonymous or may not have even realized that there were two terms in use at all.

The second point of confusion comes from an oversimplification. In broad terms, we define Hybrid IT as a management approach in which organizations create a workload-centric and value-driven integrated technology stack that may include legacy infrastructure, web-scale architectures, private cloud implementations along with public cloud platforms ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Software-as-a-Service.

The problem with this definition is that too many IT leaders have skipped over the "workload-centric and value-driven" part and have taken Hybrid IT to mean that they can pick-and-choose technologies indiscriminately. In fact, the adoption of a Hybrid IT strategy means the exact opposite.

Hybrid IT's Workload and Value Centricity
This inclination to see Hybrid IT in terms of the infrastructure components of the technology stack is endemic in IT leadership teams and a result of a long-standing systemic architectural perspective.

The challenge is that the evolution of modern technologies continues to abstract workloads from their underlying infrastructures, making a traditional systems perspective out-of-date.

Instead, organizations must adopt a new architectural perspective in which the unit of control is the workload, and the driver of priority is its competitive value to the organization. This new perspective is the essence of a Hybrid IT strategy.

In this new paradigm, the organization must focus primarily on managing workloads rather than systems. To do so, organizations must view workloads in the context of their competitive business value and broadly define them to be either competitive or sustaining in nature - what I refer to as the workflow's value state.

Using this perspective, the architectural decisions move away from designing and then connecting systems and move instead to designing integrated workflows aligned to the relative business value of the workloads they support.

In this value-driven context, it now makes complete sense for some workloads to remain on traditional, non-cloud infrastructures, while others move to different forms of cloud-based architectures, as the diagram illustrates.

The New Hybrid IT Architectural Framework
This new architectural perspective must, therefore, lead to a new architectural framework. Unlike the systems-oriented frameworks of the past that organized the architecture based on systems-type, this framework organizes the architecture based on the types of workloads they best support.

This new architectural framework consists of three tiers:

  • Legacy: Platforms supporting sustaining workloads that are stable, too costly to migrate and pose limited competitive risk, so are left to run in traditional environments.
  • Web-scale: Platforms supporting the organization's most strategic and business-critical workloads, which thus drive competitive advantage. These workloads typically support in-house developed applications and run in web-scale-type environments either within owned data centers or in tightly controlled and managed environments.
  • Commodity: Platforms supporting sustaining workloads that have been migrated from legacy environments, predominately to SaaS and public cloud applications (e.g., Salesforce, Workday, etc.), to reduce overhead on internal IT staff.

This architectural framework will challenge many traditional architectural assumptions and force organizations to re-envision the technology stack from the ground up. It will force IT organizations to use the value state to drive the architectural and deployment decisions of any given technology.

Realigning the technology stack from a competitive value perspective eliminates the guesswork on many of the critical decisions facing IT leaders today about which technologies to maintain in-house versus which to deploy to the cloud. It also makes it much easier to sort through the mass of emerging technology innovations to determine which are worthy of investment.

The four new architectural tiers may not seem to be a traditional architectural model. They do not describe either physical or logical structures. Instead, they represent a relative assignment of competitive value to the organization - and consequently, the amount of control and agility required.

The Intellyx Take
Embracing a Hybrid IT strategy demands that IT leaders be willing to challenge long-held approaches to the management of the IT function and the delivery of IT services. It requires a philosophical shift away from a technically-oriented systems mindset to a focus on the customer, business value, and competitive differentiation.

As we have written about several times before, digital transformation is fundamentally a shift in which the primary orientation of the organization moves away from a focus on the operating model to a focus on the customer.

This is true in the expected ways (e.g. the customer experience, etc.), but more importantly in the foundational architectures and operating models by which the business - and therefore IT - operates.

The workload-centricity that is implicit in an authentic Hybrid IT strategy is critical in realizing and sustaining this shift to customer centricity that digital transformation demands.

The abstraction of workloads from the underlying infrastructure enables them to cut across traditional architectural tiers to align with specific customer needs.

Like the entire concept of digital transformation, however, it is easy to whitewash Hybrid IT. Far too many leaders will use the term as a crutch, choosing expedience over a meaningful strategy and leave a mishmash architecture in their wake that is both non-transformative and which, in fact, sets them up for a spectacular implosion in the not-so-distant future.

Adopting a Hybrid IT strategy requires both a technical and cultural transformation that reorients the entire organization around workload centricity and the business value those workloads support. It is a transformation that IT and business leaders must get right.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.

Latest Stories
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
Is it possible to migrate 100% of your data ecosystem to the cloud? Join Joe Caserta as he takes you on a complete journey to digital transformation mapping out on-prem data footprint and walking it to the cloud. Joe will also explain how the modern ecosystem supports Artificial Intelligence and will include business use cases to back each of his insights.
Your job is mostly boring. Many of the IT operations tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis are repetitive and dull. Utilizing automation can improve your work life, automating away the drudgery and embracing the passion for technology that got you started in the first place. In this presentation, I'll talk about what automation is, and how to approach implementing it in the context of IT Operations. Ned will discuss keys to success in the long term and include practical real-world examples. Ge...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it's important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. "Fly two mistakes high" is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Le...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...