Cloud storage has taken the world of business by a storm lately. It seems that every major organization has dedicated the year of 2016 to finding a safe online environment to secure their valuable assets. The change triggered by the need of cyber security is here already, and IT professionals and tech managers should adapt to this new hybrid IT age.
However, one side effect of this monumental transition from offline to online has created a new IT concept, namely the hybrid IT environment. Basically, this means that not all assets received a cyber upgrade. There are still valuable resources that cannot be moved to the online cloud. Thus, companies now face a bisection of their infrastructure that continues to cover both the cloud-based platform and the on-premises software. Here’s what CIOs need to manage a hybrid IT environment.
1. Long Term Plan
Let’s take a look at the research that addressed this new issue first. IT Trends Report 2016: The Hybrid IT Evolution found that 92% of the surveyed businesses are considering cloud technologies a priority for their long-term success. That’s powerful proof that data migration is happening. However, 60% of respondents testified the need for a hybrid environment since not all infrastructure has its place in the cloud, while 43% of them projected the completion of this ambitious project in three or five years.
This means that the key to a successful hybrid IT environment is perfect timing. The process should follow a thoroughly researched plan that has considered every major stage through which the whole company infrastructure will go through.
A strong implementation plan should cover the following important aspects:
- Assess the assets – the CIO should discuss with all the teams of the company what applications stay on-premises and which ones will migrate to the cloud. It is important to give as much time as possible to mark off this bisection clearly;
- Layout the business case – this is the phase where IT professionals design the strategy for cloud computing. These plans should cover the present state of the infrastructure plus the key positive changes that this process will create such as cost reductions and delivery of meaningful business value.
- Design the ideal technical approach – this step might take several weeks or even months. Business analysts should create the formal requirements for cloud migration that will lead to the construction of a business model.
- Integration – the CIOs should supervise the integration of process, data, and presentation. They need to monitor every step of integrating the new system and mend the possible issues and obstacles wherever and whenever they might appear.
- Establish a strong security system – the CIOs should assess the risk factors that may jeopardize the security and privacy of the company’s data. Usually, the best way to handle this stage is to have a security classification that specifies where and which data might be prone to cyber attacks or other hazards. Usually, the customers’ information is the most valuable asset of the company. Account numbers, addresses, and bank accounts should be the first elements to receive protection against leaks. According to Cloud Storage 101, the security of cloud storage is a real issue for IT teams. However, once the professionals overcome them, the infrastructure will enjoy safer solutions than offline storages.
- Executing the migration – it is finally the time to put the plan into practice. The CIO should supervise that everyone allocates and addresses the tasks, deadlines, costs, and resources according to the written project.
- Provide ongoing support – the migration should enjoy a thorough system of tests to ensure its success. At this point, the CIOs should make sure that every element works like a well-oiled machine and there are no threats or leaks that they cannot manage. The CIOs should also be prepared to adapt the system to new IT requirements that ensure a continuous improvement of the service.
2. Keep Up With The Trends
The Hybrid IT Environment is a new notion created by the increasing benefits the online world offers to businesses of all kinds. This means that there is not yet a precise methodology for this innovative process, and its definition fluctuates from company to company. There are high chances that the infrastructure will face many difficulties along its evolution as an online asset, and the CIOs should adopt an open mind when managing the transition.
What there is for sure is that the CIOs will have to be in charge of two different systems that support the hybrid IT environment. [pullquote]The procedures that work for an on-premise software will more than likely not be able to adapt to the online world.[/pullquote] Consequently, cloud-based assets will thrive in different kinds of daily security and management routines. Thus, CIOs are facing increased workloads which will double their responsibilities.
3. Create New Business Strategies
Besides management attributes, the CIOs should try to peek into the future and seize opportunities that come with the new hybrid IT environment. There are many ways in which the new infrastructure transition will support a greater success for the company. The most important role of the CIOs is to formulate new strategic options that are now possible thanks to the cloud migration. These solutions will amplify the business capabilities to provide better services for their clients.
The benefits of hybrid IT environment that can lead to prosperous business strategies are increased collaboration, flexibility, remote jobs, security, and many others. The new job of the CIOs will not end with the finalization of cloud migration. On the contrary, a new generation of Chief Information Officers will appear that will be able to create a stronger bridge between business and service.
All in all, the hybrid IT environment is shaping the future of the business world as we speak. It is still a volatile topic that hasn’t chosen an exact shape yet. So, the CIOs have the freedom to implement the infrastructure transition according to the capabilities of their company.