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HotLink 2015 Predictions: IT teams will take training wheels off hybrid initiatives


Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Lynn LeBlanc, CEO and founder of HotLink Corporation

In 2015, IT teams will take training wheels off hybrid initiatives

Hybrid clouds got plenty of attention in 2014. In the past 12 months, we saw influencers transform from anti-hybrid activists to pro-hybrid evangelists. Part of that change stems from the fact that the suspicions the market once held about public cloud security have ebbed. Companies have done well keeping their sensitive applications within their firewalls, and the workloads they entrust to the public cloud have not fallen prey to widespread security breaches or outages, as once predicted. Much of the shift in thinking about hybrid in 2014, however, can be tracked to company balance sheets. IT decisions are driven by budgets, and those budgets are driving companies straight to hybrid IT.

Now, as companies plan for 2015, IT teams are ready to move beyond their early experiments with hybrid clouds and fully embrace the possibilities of mixing on- and off-premise resources. Specifically, we see 2015 as the year when: 

1.  IT will tier application placement just like storage resources.

In the coming months, we'll see corporate IT teams evaluating their top workload candidates for public cloud computing. Approximately 70 percent of these enterprise teams have already committed to a hybrid IT roadmap, and many have already been utilizing public cloud services for testing and development. Now, they're ready to expand usage and move forward with other applications.

2.  Enterprises will merge on- and off-premise resources into unified IT environments.

One of the top hybrid IT priorities in 2015 will be creating a management infrastructure that spans on-premise and public clouds. This will take transformational - not aspirational - technology. IT leaders will have to scrutinize vendor offerings to ensure that what they're buying is capable of taming the potential complexity of hybrid clouds. If they fail to do so, companies could see the economic benefits of their new IT constructs disappear.

3.  Enterprises will send DR/BC to the public cloud.

Disaster recovery and business continuity have been out of reach for many companies for too long because of exorbitant costs and the inability to easily test and maintain their continuity plans. Unable to bear the cost of building secondary physical data centers or mirroring infrastructure in colocation facilities, these businesses held their collective breaths and carried on without disaster recovery and business continuity (DR/BC) safety nets. The pay-as-you-go economics of the public cloud make those safety nets available to all. Companies will be able to actually recover workloads in the cloud and not just use it for data backup. DR and BC are the low-hanging fruit for cloud deployments and integrations, and because of all of this, hybrid cloud DR/BC will go mainstream in 2015.

4.  IT will have to sort vendor hype from reality.

Technology vendors and service providers are quickly cranking out the "hybrid" stickers to paste onto existing solution descriptions, and many are still years away from offering a viable cloud strategy that makes sense for enterprises. An array of organizations will claim hybrid capability: industry giants (as long as you use their products end-to-end); private cloud solution providers (although most are just adding hybrid terminology to their current collateral); cloud backup providers (with most still lacking recovery capabilities); and more. It will be up to IT teams to evaluate which of their vendors can transform operations into unified hybrid environments without an army of consultants or a complete rebuild of existing environments. As they sort out truth from fiction, IT leaders should focus on finding easy, integrated, sophisticated, scalable approaches to hybrid IT management.

In 2014, enterprises strapped the training wheels onto hybrid IT and took a few test drives. In 2015, they'll be ready to shed the training wheels and speed ahead to reap the economic advantages of hybrid transformation. Companies that hang back, stagnated by unfounded fears or consumed by tactical operations, will be left behind by their peers who have already embraced the inevitable transformation. Successful hybrid IT implementations are everywhere, so don't miss out on the compelling economic benefit.  


About the Author

Lynn LeBlanc, CEO and founder of HotLink Corporation, has more than 25 years of enterprise software and technology experience at both Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley startups. Prior to founding HotLink, LeBlanc was founder and CEO of FastScale Technology, an enterprise software company acquired by VMware, Inc.

Published Wednesday, December 10, 2014 8:59 AM by David Marshall
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:58 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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