Hybrid environments are getting people talking – they offer solutions to the challenges faced by businesses that are renewing their operations and becoming more complex. We’ll now shed light on what managed hybrid IT is all about, what benefits can be achieved with it, and how a hybrid environment is built.
Constant rapid changes in the operating environment put IT environments to the test. Due to the uncertain state of the world, organisations have set ensuring operational continuity and capability for change as their key objectives. Other reasons behind this include geopolitical factors, the transformation in how work is performed, regional IT infrastructures and reforms in both legislation and regulations. In addition, the IT environments of many organisations have become even more diverse – their IT systems and services may be spread out over numerous locations and platforms. If an organisation ends up in this situation without maintaining control, its IT environment will inevitably include areas whose structures, responsibilities or costs are unknown – and which make it difficult to respond to faults or information security threats, for instance. Thus far, attempts to harness the benefits of the public cloud have yielded mixed results. The development of a managed hybrid IT environment provides a solution to these challenges.
What is a hybrid environment?
A hybrid environment is an IT and cloud service package that works at the device, system and application level in different locations and platforms. Some of the systems and applications could be located in public cloud services, and some in the vendors’ or even companies’ own data centers. At the device level, the idea is to transfer computing capacity to wherever it is required at the time. The hybrid environment consists of both private and public cloud services, and also includes overall architecture that controls traditional IT systems and platforms. The future trend in hybrid environments is the development of so-called multiportals through which everything can be managed from a single location. To date, the management tools have been divided between the network, storage capacity and services, for instance.
A hybrid environment is an IT and cloud service package that works at the device, system and application level in different locations and platforms.
Benefits of a managed hybrid environment
A managed hybrid environment yields substantial cost savings and enables the development of services and solutions that are critically important for competitiveness. For instance, it is easier to deploy a new service when the view is consistent with other services and it automatically complies with the organisation's information management and security policy. At the same time, developers are provided with a uniform framework with open interfaces, which makes their work more efficient and enables the systems and services to communicate effortlessly with each other. Optimising computing capacity results in maximum cost-effectiveness. Thanks to a clear view, maintenance and necessary measures can also be performed efficiently.
In the big picture, a hybrid environment responds to the growing needs of organisations to utilise data even more efficiently, enhance information flow, reduce and prevent silo formation, and facilitate connection to cloud ecosystems. It also enables agile development and scalability, and reduces both investment and security risks. Most importantly, in a managed hybrid environment, business and IT objectives are aligned and work is optimised. You have options at your fingertips that would be impossible in a traditional IT environment.
How a managed hybrid environment is developed
The development of a managed hybrid IT environment begins with identifying business challenges and opportunities, defining an IT strategy to support the objectives of the organisation, and establishing an overall picture of the benefits of public cloud and local data center capacity. For this reason, it’s important that a multi-skilled team that also includes the management of the organisation participates in the development.
The strategy defines the direction and vision for development. After that, the information policy is defined – that is, the limitations and opportunities of the IT environment. It is not always sensible or even possible to transfer everything to the cloud or leave it in a data center. A correctly setup hybrid environment yields benefits such as greater cost effectiveness. That said, a hybrid environment is not always the best possible alternative – its necessity is assessed in line with the needs of the customer. The next step is to ensure that the environment is fit for purpose. In practice, the transition to a hybrid environment is carried out with appropriate and tangible steps. Once the necessary workloads have been transferred, their optimisation and modernisation is started – the aim could be to ensure the effortless transferrability of capacity between delivery and production models, for instance.
That is, hybrid IT is not based solely on the management of a cloud or multicloud environment, or the construction of data centers, but is fundamentally a question of the strategy for digital services, applications and data management. It is important to be aware of the significance of manageability, especially when the organisation is deploying several cloud services or there are changes ahead – the sooner the work begins, the better.
Hybrid IT as a service
Hybrid IT technology is constantly evolving – large public cloud operators are now taking data centers into consideration, and vice versa. For this reason, it is advisable to select an expert partner for the transition and the development of manageability. CGI provides tried-and-tested services for the public cloud, data centers and their connection. We implement hybrid IT environments that support the business objectives of our customers and enhance cost-effectiveness.
If you wish, we can provide you with centralised management for your hybrid environment as a complete and secure service. We start the process with a survey and the specification of both objectives and operating models. Thanks to new operating methods and tools, we can take control and combine your existing data center and cloud environments – and create new ones. After service deployment and training, we provide maintenance and support services that meet your needs. This process does not require the implementation of a traditional, heavy transformation project, as deployment is highly automated.