By now nearly every organization has taken advantage of cloud computing in some form or other—Infrastructure as as Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Countless studies have shown that the business benefits of cloud are just too significant to pass up.
That said, few organizations are prepared to adopt a “cloud only” approach. In many cases that’s because they continue to derive the maximum return from their systems already in place, on-premise or hosted. As a result, organizations today often operate mixed environments incorporating public and private clouds along with core systems of record like ERP. According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, 63% of organizations are now pursuing such a “hybrid IT” approach.1
So what, exactly, are the main advantages of a hybrid IT model, which often combines core ERP systems of record with cloud solutions of engagement? To find out, IDG contacted some IT decision makers with first-hand experience via Twitter. The upshot: While hybrid IT may be taking center stage at many companies today, it’s doing so for a number of different reasons.
Addressing the need for speed
Not surprisingly, nearly all respondents cited hybrid IT’s ability to foster agility and innovation at a much faster pace and often at far lower costs by using “best of breed” solutions versus “best of suite” solutions from mega vendors.
“IT needs to move smarter and faster to advance customer-facing experiences,” said Isaac Sacolik (@nyike), Principal and CIO at StarCIO. “These areas of IT need the innovation, flexibility, and automation that agile, cloud, DevOps, citizen development programs, and self-service analytical tools enable. IT also needs to consider how best to modernize existing ERP and other business operational systems, where workflows need to be made more efficient.”
Krish Subramanian (@krishnan) founder and research analyst at Rishidot Research may have reservations about the long-term prospects of hybrid IT, but in the short term he said “the main advantage is with the newer use cases it can support. Moving ERP to the cloud is going to take a long time, but a hybrid IT model can support use cases like mobile and IoT, which are very difficult with traditional systems.”
“It introduces a new delivery model into existing operational systems,” observed John Purrier (@johnpur), CTO at Automic Software. “By adopting cloud solutions of engagement, enterprises get the advantages of agility and speed of deployment as part of their digital transformations, while maintaining the bedrock IT systems of record that the business depends upon.”
George Hadjiyanis (@GDHadji), Senior Director of Industry Solutions at Workiva, is a big fan of agility as well.