The pandemic accelerated several business trends, from the hybrid workplace to contactless delivery, and hybrid cloud emerged as the prevalent IT architecture for business.
That last point is something we’re paying close attention to at IBM, since 97% of organizations operate in a hybrid multicloud environment. It’s no longer a question of whether you are all-in on hybrid cloud, but rather, how far along are you on the journey? Yet, with every journey there are speed bumps. Too often, cloud adoption loses momentum and stalls, which prevents organizations from taking advantage of a deeper, business-driven “mastery” of hybrid cloud.
As I speak with clients across industries, I’ve found five common challenges standing in the way of hybrid cloud mastery.
The pandemic created a sense of “get to the cloud” urgency, forcing companies to assemble a hodge-podge of public, private, and on-premises assets that weren’t integrated. There was no cohesive structure to bind them.
Mastery means moving from a “hybrid of clouds” to a single, integrated hybrid cloud platform – like a chassis on which to mount car parts. Instead of discrete components that accomplish little on their own, it’s the whole system that gets you where you need to go – meaning a dramatic improvement in software application development and production.
2. People and operations
When people from different cloud operations are cobbled together in different areas, it often leads to work getting done in silos. And talent shortages have left companies with too few developers and engineers to go around, leaving talent spread too thin to cover all areas.
Mastering hybrid cloud ensures employees have the critical cloud skills needed to do their work efficiently and effectively in an integrated way across a single hybrid cloud operating model.
Security concerns existed long before cloud, but now with unintegrated cloud components, the security risk is even greater.
Mastering hybrid cloud develops a unified security program that transforms a company’s culture to be security-aware and security-first. This ensures the security policies, capabilities, and procedures across the hybrid cloud platform are consistent, allowing companies to see security incidents across operations and take quick action.
The cost of moving data is just one financial impediment executives face – with some stating costs could go up by as much as 50%. Additionally, when costs rise or become unpredictable, it makes it more difficult to manage cloud investments.
Hybrid cloud manages all cloud costs through a single view so businesses can see how and where cloud services are being consumed across the entire enterprise, allowing business priorities to be directly matched with optimized cloud costs.
5. Partner ecosystem
Businesses are overwhelmed by the amount of ecosystem partners involved in their hybrid cloud journey. Each group involved – whether internal or external – brings their own naturally competing interests. But no one can go it alone.
Mastering hybrid cloud brings all partners together in a voluntary way, aligned under one strategy for success. Picture a roundtable where each constituency of your hybrid cloud mastery journey (your hybrid cloud ecosystem) is represented by a senior “captain.” These representatives work together in a collaborative, transparent way.
It’s normal for companies to become stalled as they move beyond early cloud adoption, but they shouldn’t be discouraged. Once businesses have mastered hybrid cloud, it will ultimately unlock a broad range of value propositions and become a central driver of innovation for years to come.
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