New survey: IT decision-makers say hybrid IT delivers best of both worlds

Hybrid IT is neither a stopgap solution nor a rest stop on the way to a pure cloud solution, according to a new survey by Peak 10. Rather, it's a practical and strategic use of IT technology that's gaining momentum.

Hybrid IT has a strong foothold in the minds of IT decision-makers, according to a new survey by Peak 10. The national infrastructure provider, in concert with Microsoft, surveyed over 200 IT decision-makers on the validity of building hybrid IT infrastructures.

The headline: 61 percent say they would use a hybrid environment when deploying a new infrastructure from scratch. Only 4 percent would use hybrid IT to support legacy systems.

Why hybrid IT is the future of enterprise cloud

In many organizations, the advent of cloud services has widened the divide between IT and other business functions. Business leaders focus on what the cloud can potentially offer in terms of speed of business deployments, scalability, and costs, while IT focuses more on risk, accentuated by a few highly publicized cloud failures. 

Once you cut through the hype and doomsaying on both sides, you find that a significant number of users and vendors are focused on meeting user and business needs and not on the technology they use to succeed. Their rule of thumb has been "put the workloads where they are best served." Workloads that benefit from tightly controlled infrastructure can remain in the data center, while applications and services that are best deployed in a less controlled and personally managed infrastructure may go to the cloud.

This doesn't even take into consideration the advantages that deploying a private cloud can bring to a business, mixing the benefits for cloud deployment and accessibility with the management and control of the traditional IT infrastructure. At the same time, growing experience with the benefits and pain points of the cloud has led IT organizations to a much clearer understanding of the workloads they don't want to see running on a cloud platform.

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It comes as no surprise that applications such as email, collaboration, and web hosting are tasks most commonly moved to the cloud. Nor is it surprising that databases and security tend to remain under IT's direct control. As more businesses move into areas with strict regulatory control—PCI-DSS and HIPAA are prime examples—the need to have absolute control over the data can outweigh any potential advantages of a public cloud solution, even as more cloud vendors get their own security certifications.

A recurring theme in Peak 10's report, "Hybrid IT Study: A Solid Business Case for Mixed Infrastructure," is that hybrid IT delivers "the best of both worlds," which takes us back to the concept that workloads belong on the platform that fits it best. There is no single solution that works for everyone, or even one that meets all the needs of a large business enterprise. The best thing an IT enterprise can do is position the business to quickly take advantage of any situation that gives it a competitive edge, reduces costs, and enables it to respond more quickly to changing business conditions.

Survey respondents had widely differing expectations of potential cost savings from cloud, on-prem, and collocated business solutions. This shows just how much the specific workload impacts opportunities for cost saving. One-size-fits-all is a recipe for disaster when planning IT services.

End users don't care where applications or data reside. They just want the best user experience possible. IT's job is to provide that experience and ensure they are operating in a safe, secure environment that meets regulatory and business requirements.

Building a hybrid IT infrastructure, as the respondents seem to agree, is the best way to provide day-to-day operational flexibility to their businesses while still allowing everything from secure legacy applications to cutting-edge cloud techniques to be used.

Read the full results of Peak 10's report and apply your own perspective to the data: "Hybrid IT Study: A Solid Business Case for Mixed Infrastructure."

Related reading: How to make Hybrid IT simple: The best of both worlds with on-premises IT and public cloud

This article/content was written by the individual writer identified and does not necessarily reflect the view of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.