Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg, Larry Alton

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

Getting Hybrid IT Right | @CloudExpo #AI #DX #SaaS #ITaaS #CloudNative

The tech industry is a buzzword-creating machine, but the truth is that all of these buzzwords serve a purpose

Getting Hybrid IT Right
By Charles Araujo, Intellyx Principal Analyst

We define Hybrid IT as a management approach in which organizations create a workload-centric and value-driven integrated technology stack that may include legacy infrastructure, web-scale architectures, private cloud implementations along with public cloud platforms ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Software-as-a-Service.

At Intellyx, we have a mantra that goes something like this: "We love confusion in the market. It gives us something to write about."

Well, if confusion is what we like, Hybrid IT delivers it in spades.

The tech industry is a buzzword-creating machine, but the truth is that all of these buzzwords serve a purpose. As an industry, we are in a constant struggle to distill, comprehend and communicate new and complex ideas that are arising at a dizzying pace. So the industry coins terms to help simplify the process (and maybe sell some stuff along the way).

Hybrid IT is the latest entrant to go mainstream. And like its counterparts, it is rife with confusion, conflicting definitions, and outright abuse.

Unlike many of its fellow buzzwords, however, this one deserves serious attention from any business and IT executive who is trying to navigate their organization through the travails of digital disruption and transformation.

You need to get this one right.

Hybrid IT is an essential concept because it represents a fundamental shift in the way enterprise organizations architect and deploy their technology stack. In fact, as I described in one of my first Cortex pieces, I believe that the adoption of a Hybrid IT strategy is tantamount to envisioning a new digital business architecture.

The Confusion Behind Hybrid IT
The term Hybrid IT suffers from two primary points of confusion. The first is a simple case of mistaken identity.

The term hybrid cloud preceded the term Hybrid IT in management consciousness. Hybrid cloud represents an approach in which an enterprise organization uses on-premises private clouds in some combination with public clouds.

As we'll discuss in a moment, the concept of Hybrid IT can include the integration of private and public clouds. As a result, many people came to see the terms as synonymous or may not have even realized that there were two terms in use at all.

The second point of confusion comes from an oversimplification. In broad terms, we define Hybrid IT as a management approach in which organizations create a workload-centric and value-driven integrated technology stack that may include legacy infrastructure, web-scale architectures, private cloud implementations along with public cloud platforms ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Software-as-a-Service.

The problem with this definition is that too many IT leaders have skipped over the "workload-centric and value-driven" part and have taken Hybrid IT to mean that they can pick-and-choose technologies indiscriminately. In fact, the adoption of a Hybrid IT strategy means the exact opposite.

Hybrid IT's Workload and Value Centricity
This inclination to see Hybrid IT in terms of the infrastructure components of the technology stack is endemic in IT leadership teams and a result of a long-standing systemic architectural perspective.

The challenge is that the evolution of modern technologies continues to abstract workloads from their underlying infrastructures, making a traditional systems perspective out-of-date.

Instead, organizations must adopt a new architectural perspective in which the unit of control is the workload, and the driver of priority is its competitive value to the organization. This new perspective is the essence of a Hybrid IT strategy.

In this new paradigm, the organization must focus primarily on managing workloads rather than systems. To do so, organizations must view workloads in the context of their competitive business value and broadly define them to be either competitive or sustaining in nature - what I refer to as the workflow's value state.

Using this perspective, the architectural decisions move away from designing and then connecting systems and move instead to designing integrated workflows aligned to the relative business value of the workloads they support.

In this value-driven context, it now makes complete sense for some workloads to remain on traditional, non-cloud infrastructures, while others move to different forms of cloud-based architectures, as the diagram illustrates.

The New Hybrid IT Architectural Framework
This new architectural perspective must, therefore, lead to a new architectural framework. Unlike the systems-oriented frameworks of the past that organized the architecture based on systems-type, this framework organizes the architecture based on the types of workloads they best support.

This new architectural framework consists of three tiers:

  • Legacy: Platforms supporting sustaining workloads that are stable, too costly to migrate and pose limited competitive risk, so are left to run in traditional environments.
  • Web-scale: Platforms supporting the organization's most strategic and business-critical workloads, which thus drive competitive advantage. These workloads typically support in-house developed applications and run in web-scale-type environments either within owned data centers or in tightly controlled and managed environments.
  • Commodity: Platforms supporting sustaining workloads that have been migrated from legacy environments, predominately to SaaS and public cloud applications (e.g., Salesforce, Workday, etc.), to reduce overhead on internal IT staff.

This architectural framework will challenge many traditional architectural assumptions and force organizations to re-envision the technology stack from the ground up. It will force IT organizations to use the value state to drive the architectural and deployment decisions of any given technology.

Realigning the technology stack from a competitive value perspective eliminates the guesswork on many of the critical decisions facing IT leaders today about which technologies to maintain in-house versus which to deploy to the cloud. It also makes it much easier to sort through the mass of emerging technology innovations to determine which are worthy of investment.

The four new architectural tiers may not seem to be a traditional architectural model. They do not describe either physical or logical structures. Instead, they represent a relative assignment of competitive value to the organization - and consequently, the amount of control and agility required.

The Intellyx Take
Embracing a Hybrid IT strategy demands that IT leaders be willing to challenge long-held approaches to the management of the IT function and the delivery of IT services. It requires a philosophical shift away from a technically-oriented systems mindset to a focus on the customer, business value, and competitive differentiation.

As we have written about several times before, digital transformation is fundamentally a shift in which the primary orientation of the organization moves away from a focus on the operating model to a focus on the customer.

This is true in the expected ways (e.g. the customer experience, etc.), but more importantly in the foundational architectures and operating models by which the business - and therefore IT - operates.

The workload-centricity that is implicit in an authentic Hybrid IT strategy is critical in realizing and sustaining this shift to customer centricity that digital transformation demands.

The abstraction of workloads from the underlying infrastructure enables them to cut across traditional architectural tiers to align with specific customer needs.

Like the entire concept of digital transformation, however, it is easy to whitewash Hybrid IT. Far too many leaders will use the term as a crutch, choosing expedience over a meaningful strategy and leave a mishmash architecture in their wake that is both non-transformative and which, in fact, sets them up for a spectacular implosion in the not-so-distant future.

Adopting a Hybrid IT strategy requires both a technical and cultural transformation that reorients the entire organization around workload centricity and the business value those workloads support. It is a transformation that IT and business leaders must get right.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Greg Gorman is the Director, IoT Developer Ecosystem, Watson IoT, will provide a short tutorial on Node-RED, a Node.js-based programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using a wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click. There is a large library of contributed nodes that help so...
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
There is huge complexity in implementing a successful digital business that requires efficient on-premise and cloud back-end infrastructure, IT and Internet of Things (IoT) data, analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Applications. In the data center alone, there are physical and virtual infrastructures, multiple operating systems, multiple applications and new and emerging business and technological paradigms such as cloud computing and XaaS. And then there are pe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...