Hybrid Cloud: Playing offense with technology innovation Posted on August 11, 2016 by Tim Burke As I’ve clarified in recent posts, cloud services generally provide the most resource-efficient way to satisfy your organization’s IT requirements — and usually are most effectively deployed via a hybrid cloud combining selected public cloud subscriptions with customized private cloud capabilities. The arguments for hybrid clouds that you hear most often are, basically, defensive, powering the customizations that legacy environments depend on, protecting sensitive data, and boosting compliance. But, as we all know, successful enterprises need more than a good defense. Competition — and winning — also demands a solid, forward-looking offense. Here, too, a hybrid cloud is fast becoming essential as the infrastructure of technology innovation. 3 technology innovations that belong in your playbook To the extent that your business plays technology offense as well as defense, I recommend you pay attention to three innovations and find ways to incorporate them into your playbook: 1 The Internet of Things (IoT). Some people believe the Internet of Things isn’t just any killer app — it’s hybrid cloud’s killer app. Last year, 28% of software developers were working on IoT projects, up from 18.9% in 2014. This hints of a deluge to come. Each day this year, 5.5 million new “things” are connecting to the Internet, adding up to 6.4 billion things by yearend, up 30% from 2015. By 2020, the world will be using 20.8 billion Internet-connected things and upwards of half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some IoT element. 2 Cloud-native apps. As more of everybody’s “things” connect in the clouds, the apps your employees and customers rely on must adapt. Legacies fade, and as they do, they’ll be replaced with cloud-native apps – i.e., decoupled from physical infrastructure, fault-tolerant, and able to scale and process requests asynchronously. Cloud-native apps function discretely, operating in their own containers, able to connect and combine on demand in your hybrid cloud to produce custom applications based on standardized parts and governed by standardized protocols. Result: a new wave of automation that will change how your business operates and require you to field unique cloud-native apps of your own. 3 Cloud-centric analytics. Big Data goes nowhere without Big Analytics – which is already getting a boost from self-service data prep. As cloud-native apps are used to decouple the arcane complexities of data transformation, data staging, and data integration, line-of-business employees without technical training can use a cloud-centric analytics dashboard to move data into a hybrid-customized cloud ecosystem containing the databases, warehouses, and tools they need to efficiently extract information and insights. Shaping your competitive future Cloud-inspired technology innovation is moving quickly on many fronts and will just as quickly transform how all of us do business. To play offense as well as defense, talk to a technology consultant that understands how to get the most from the innovations shaping your competitive future.