Driving Digital Business with Hybrid Cloud

Corporations today must digitize their processes, personalize the customer experience, and innovate at an unprecedented pace. Yet too few have implemented the technology platform needed to truly support those objectives.

Fortunately, hybrid cloud is quickly emerging as the enabler of digital business, with adoption being driven by three key forces.

One driver is the nature of digital business itself. Technology advances and information availability have altered customer expectations for good. Customers expect to be able to do what they want when they want on whatever device they want, quickly and easily and with personalized service. Companies serving them must meet those expectations with new generations of fast-changing applications.

Another is the imperative to become and remain agile. Digital business is not a one-time initiative, not just a new set of apps. It’s a permanent commitment to work differently, adapt quickly, and iterate faster. It’s a commitment to be technology-enabled and data-driven top-to-bottom. Such agility demands an agile platform – hybrid cloud.

The most immediate driver of many implementations is cost reduction. Both McKinsey and EMC analyses have found that enterprises moving to hybrid cloud can reduce their IT operating expense by 24%. That’s a significant number, and in essence can fund the people and process changes that yield the other benefits of hybrid cloud.

Where does that 24% come from? Better management yields some reductions in hardware, telecom, and facilities expense. There are even bigger gains in software licenses and software maintenance as operations are integrated, simplified, and automated. Implementing hybrid cloud can be the catalyst for rationalizing your infrastructure management software and retiring what’s underutilized or unnecessary.

But the biggest reduction is to OPEX budget. The automation of hybrid cloud dramatically reduces the amount of labor needed to deploy new application software, and to monitor, operate, and make adjustments to the infrastructure. Tasks that used to take days are performed in minutes or seconds. By automating manual work, hybrid cloud creates the opportunity for dramatic IT OPEX cost reduction, and the option to redirect those savings into newer and higher value IT initiatives.

Let me introduce a caveat, however: installing hybrid cloud technology is necessary, but not sufficient, for realizing the cost reductions. IT has to operate in new ways—from infrastructure management to apps and services delivery. That’s where the real changes take place.

Hybrid cloud is also an opportunity to secure IT at the heart of the business action – delivering apps and brokering cloud services. This will solidify IT’s value and relevance.

CIOs make the call on what technologies to put in place today so that the business is where it needs to be in three years. Hybrid cloud drives digital business while lowering cost and raising agility. It is truly a strategic investment in a more flexible way to operate that enables our enterprises to change in the future as the digital marketplace continues evolving.

Read more from David Goulden on this topic in Hybrid Cloud: Platform for Digital Business.

About the Author: David Goulden