An Experts Guide to Hybrid IT
by Zivaro, on Jul 16, 2021 5:13:49 PM
This expert guide to hybrid IT will teach you how combining cloud and existing infrastructure can be beneficial. You'll also learn the difference between hybrid IT and hybrid cloud using industry-specific examples.
By now, most businesses know the advantages of cloud computing, which include greater flexibility, lower costs, and more state-of-the-art security features. For many companies, though, making the switch isn't solely about what you stand to gain. It's about what you might lose: familiarity, legacy systems, or even data.
Hybrid IT strategies can be a fantastic solution in these instances, regardless of how your business currently operates online.
This guide will walk you through the benefits of hybrid IT and explain how it can help bridge the gap without tossing existing infrastructure out the window.
What Is Hybrid IT?
Hybrid IT is an infrastructure strategy that as many as 88 percent of businesses deploy. Companies access their data and applications through a mix of cloud-based software, in-house technologies, and sometimes even third-party servers.
By combining on-premise and digital infrastructures, businesses receive the best of both worlds regarding flexibility, tech safety, and cost considerations.
According to Bloomberg, 39 percent of businesses in the U.S. said they expect at least one-third of their employees to continue working in a remote role. So although the number of companies already using a combination of strategies is high, it's likely to continue growing.
Benefits of Hybrid IT
- Businesses retain greater control over their network
- Cost-effective and budget-friendly
- Flexibility to scale, pivot, or offer new products
- It can be adjusted to meet your business's specific needs
- Faster speeds
- Top-of-the-line security features
Hybrid IT vs. Hybrid Cloud: What's the Difference?
In many regards, hybrid IT and hybrid cloud strategies are similar. For example, hybrid IT and hybrid cloud strategies utilize multiple geographic locations for their IT services. They also reduce costs for business owners and allow for greater flexibility within a business.
The significant difference is that hybrid cloud strategies refer specifically to your use of the cloud within your business. On the other hand, hybrid IT combines all the strategies—security, compliance, integration of legacy systems—you deploy in your business to stay organized and achieve your goals.
What Is a Hybrid Cloud Example?
In the healthcare industry, protecting people's data is essential—not only because it's the right thing to do but because providers can receive steep penalties and fines for violating HIPAA laws.
Hybrid cloud strategies allow healthcare providers to keep sensitive patient data on encrypted, cloud-based servers. These documents can then be sent using up-to-date security features between medical providers or to insurance companies.
In this example, cloud-based transmission using up-to-date security tools is much less risky than keeping all the documents on one server at the facility. A breach or loss of data could be a true disaster for their business.
Most Common Uses of Hybrid IT
Here are some of the other ways businesses use hybrid IT strategies in their work.
1. Keep Sensitive Data on Private Cloud Servers
In contrast to the healthcare example above, some businesses prefer to keep their private or proprietary data on a physical server. Others may choose to use a technique known as "cloud bursting," where private data is allowed to spill over to public servers when demand is high or by manual request.
2. Application or Product Development
Trust and control are two huge factors that go into moving to the cloud for businesses. Some companies choose to retain control of their information, especially new products or applications in development, by keeping them on in-house servers until they've been fully developed.
Some businesses choose to keep data that only pertains to day-to-day operations, such as CRM software, on their server. This way, trained in-house IT employees (rather than remote, third-party employees) have exclusive access to them.
3. Keeping Legacy Systems Intact
Legacy systems or outdated software and hardware that companies can't replace (for budget or workflow reasons) are an unfortunate reality for many companies. In fact, they are one of the main reasons companies resist moving to the cloud.
Hybrid IT allows you to modernize your business without throwing away existing infrastructure. In this way, hybrid IT can be a great temporary solution that links to a long-term business goal.
4. To Avoid Shadow IT Conflicts
Another unfortunate reality for businesses is that many employees use apps (often SaaS tools) that the IT department didn’t authorize. Apps like Evernote, Slack, Google Drive, and DropBox are all examples.
This is known as shadow IT and could pose a real security risk if not managed correctly. The truth is, though, employees are unlikely to use (or be happy about using) slow or outdated software or applications.
Adding some cloud components without throwing existing infrastructure out the window allows you to avoid shadow IT complications.
(It could also be an excellent way to learn something from your employees—maybe someone's using an app that your business could benefit from.)
An Experts Guide to Hybrid IT
Hybrid IT strategies bring together the best aspects of cloud computing and on-premise technologies. So whether your company is looking to move to the cloud or you're looking for solutions to navigate the post-COVID boom of remote workers, it could be a great temporary or permanent solution for your infrastructure.
Want to learn more? Let’s chat to see if our managed IT services fit your business goals.