If your business is looking to adopt a hybrid IT system, it means you get the best of both worlds. It's a flexible and reliable approach to IT infrastructure that's essential to keeping your business competitive. We'll explore the advantages, concrete business benefits and why your business should get on board and make the switch to a hybrid IT model.
What is hybrid IT?
Hybrid IT is a catch-all term used to describe an IT system which consists of several IT platforms integrated together to create a single, expandable and versatile system. The main reason for doing this is to combine the security and reliability of private hardware (servers kept in your own office or in a colocation data centre) with the flexibility of cloud services.
There’s no fixed structure of a hybrid IT system, and it can consist of any number of IT platforms. It’s a fairly complicated but valuable way of running IT, which will support your business as it grows and evolves.
The benefits of hybrid IT
1. Reduce downtime
Your IT systems going down is the easiest way to frustrate your employees and lose customers. With a hybrid IT system, you can keep your most crucial applications running on reliable platforms, like servers in colocation or a private cloud. This reduces the chance of your essential systems going down and gives you a greater degree of control to get an issue fixed if one arises.
2. Flexibility without compromise
If your business has a variety of data bases and applications, they won't all have the same requirements. But with a single-platform IT system they all need be kept on the same type of IT, meaning you need to compromise on how they operate, finding a middle ground between flexibility, security, reliability, and everything else.
But with hybrid IT, you can keep your applications which have fluctuating demand on an IT platform which can provide the flexibility you need. This means you don't have to compromise on other business priorities involving your IT, while always being able to meet demands and deadlines.
3. Optimise IT for remote workers
People are working from anywhere, but you risk disrupting people's productivity if you can't equip them with the IT resources they need. You've got the option to virtualise anything with a hybrid IT system, including desktops and other important pieces of software. By having these sit on the cloud, you're making them accessible from anywhere at anytime, and keeping your remote workers happy.
4. Increased security without reduced access
Hybrid IT allows you to store your most sensitive data in databases that you have complete control over, allowing you to provide the exact level of security you want, protecting you from any of the disruptions that a cyber security breach can cause a business.
At the same time, less-sensitive data that needs to be widely accessed or rapidly analysed can be kept on IT platforms best suited to process them, even if they're less secure. So your increased security won't disrupt the day-to-day running of your business.
5. Sustainable IT
As digital technologies develop and become more and more important, a business' IT represents a larger portion of its carbon footprint. Moving into specialist facilities designed to host IT equipment will mean your IT is being run more energy efficiently, reducing the environmental impact of your business. By taking advantage of different platforms and maximising efficiency across your hybrid IT system, you'll increase this efficiency, and you can publicly hold your head up high as a responsible eco-friendly business.
How hybrid IT makes you more adaptable for the future
As well as immediate benefits from transitioning to a hybrid IT system it will also equip you to be better prepared for the future, a significant advantage in its own right. The variety of IT platforms integrated together in a hybrid IT system means you never need to compromise on where data and applications are hosted, and the entire system can be optimised, including new platforms integrated in to support the existing setup.
It’s going to be quicker and easier for your IT team to adapt to new business requirements, which will futureproof your business and help with a wide range of situations, included but not limited to:
- If a potential client has specific requirements (e.g. you need to be highly secure, or provide SLAs around uptime) before you can win their business, you can adapt quickly before they sign with someone else.
- When a competitor adopts a new technology to get an edge on the market, you can catch up quickly and easily. You’re also increasing your chance of being the business to introduce new technology to the industry.
- Moving offices or other facilities will be a lot easier with a hybrid IT system ready to adapt to new ways of working, either temporarily or long-term.
Is hybrid IT right for your business?
Hybrid IT comes with a range of short- and long-term benefits, which will support your business and keep you competitive in an every-changing market. The strengths of hybrid IT revolve around the different platforms integrated together, which also makes it a complicated IT system to run. It's a project that should only be taken on if you have the expertise to do so, and the requirement to make it worth while.
But if you know that building a resilient, flexible, efficient and secure IT system is going to be a top priority for your business, then you should be planning on building towards a hybrid IT system. And ensuring you have the expertise to run a hybrid IT system doesn't mean hiring new members of your team, since you can outsource the operation of different IT platforms to reliable partners who will provide expertise as well as infrastructure.
If you're at the stage where you're looking at managed infrastructure partners to support your digital transformation, check out 4D’s hybrid IT services, or get in touch for a zero-obligation chat with one of our expert team.