Hybrid cloud as an innovation infrastructure: 8 best practices Posted on August 9, 2016 by Adam Burke Much of the appeal of cloud services lies in their ability to mask the complexity of the information technologies we all depend on. Thus, as your clients’ employees sign on to public clouds, their IT staffs must respond with hybrid cloud solutions that address the resulting shadow IT, security, and compliance issues. When hybrid cloud plays offense This classically defensive posture is both understandable and necessary – but successful enterprises cannot thrive on defense alone. A competitive business must also field a carefully crafted, future-focused offense. Hybrid clouds have a critically important role to play here, too – as your clients’ technology innovation infrastructure. Three technology innovations now loom. If your clients don’t already feel the impact, they will soon – and you’ll be hearing about it: 1 The Internet of Things (IoT). This year, 5.5 million new “things” are connecting to the Internet every day. By yearend, 6.4 billion things will be Internet-connected. By 2020, the IoT will claim 20.8 billion things, and a majority of new business processes and systems will include IoT elements. 2 Cloud-native apps. As more “things” connect, cloud-native apps – decoupled from physical infrastructure and operating in their own containers – will be combined on demand in hybrid clouds to generate new custom apps that will change how your clients’ businesses operate. 3 Cloud-centric analytics. With cloud-native apps masking technical arcanities, cloud-centric analytics dashboards will enable users to easily move data into hybrid-customized analytics ecosystems that make quick work of extracting information and insights. 8 hybrid cloud best practices The shift to hybrid cloud and all that it can bring doesn’t have to be daunting for your clients — or for you. A trusted hybrid cloud technology advisor can help you work with your clients to sort through their options and make sure they get the hybrid cloud capabilities their organizations require. And you can provide leadership by beginning a discussion with your clients about these eight hybrid cloud best practices: 1 Establish why a hybrid cloud makes sense. Help your clients articulate the business goals that a hybrid cloud can help achieve. 2 Ensure your clients know their data and classify it. Everyone must understand the what/where/when/how of data use. 3 Make sure your clients keep their data portable. 4 Build security into your clients’ hybrid cloud from the start. 5 Study your clients’ hybrid cloud costs and paybacks. If you lack expertise, use a vendor-neutral hybrid cloud technology advisor to help you. 6 Encourage your clients to avoid infrastructure investments whenever possible. 7 Know your clients’ partnership interdependencies. Vet clients’ cloud services providers, especially security, certifications, SLAs, and migration/exit strategies. 8 Help your clients base hybrid cloud decisions on business goals rather than technology – and get the help you need to keep your clients satisfied from a reliable hybrid cloud technology advisor.