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Hybrid turns IT from providers to brokers

By John Oates

Many enterprises move to hybrid IT without really noticing or thinking strategically about what it means.

It happens as a result of business units needing new services fast and choosing their own cloud provider instead of going to the IT department.

Or it happens when the IT department needs extra capabilities but does not have the time or resources to build them in house.

In a large organisation this can quickly develop into a bewildering array of services from different vendors.

The danger of such an approach, or lack of approach, is that the business gets all the risks and expenses of a mixed environment without any of the benefits.

It is easy for departments to duplicate services freely available elsewhere in the organisation or to fail to cancel contracts which no longer provide best value.

Thinking strategically about private versus public cloud infrastructure, what systems and data stay in-house which don’t, should bring cost savings as well as improved performance and faster response times to the changing needs of the business.

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Thinking strategically can recapture the advantages of scale and also cut costs by ending time wasted by different departments running parallel procurement procedures for basically the same business functions.

A hybrid environment should close down shadow IT while retaining the flexibility which the business requires.

This does require a change of attitude from the IT department.

IT needs to provide broker services as well as just providing and maintaining services.

It means the department becomes more like a reseller of a catalogue of services not just offering one solution regardless of the business unit demands.

The IT department must have the ability to buy in and implement services from specific vendors if that is what the business wants.

But it should also be able to offer best-of-breed solutions, whether based in the cloud or on premises, to common business requests.

Bringing back all IT purchasing into one place should ensure deeper relationships with key vendors and better value for the whole business.

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