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CIOs take the lead on integration and hybrid cloud initiatives


By Bill Kleyman

When we look at the hybrid infrastructure and the modern cloud ecosystem, we see an architecture built around scalability and supporting an evolving business. But it's important to note just how much hybrid and cloud have been growing and where they're impacting the business. According to The Wall Street Journal, "CIOs say they are knitting together a new IT architecture that comprises the latest in public cloud services with the best of their own private data centers and partially shared tech resources." Additionally, according to MarketsandMarkets, the demand for hybrid cloud is growing faster than the overall IT market, at a rate of 27 percent.


Consider this: In the fifth annual State of the Cloud Survey, RightScale revealed that the use of cloud computing is growing, driving adoption up to 71 percent. For many organizations, this will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud; 82 percent of enterprises currently have a hybrid cloud strategy. In fact, 451 Research's Market Monitor forecasts that the market for cloud computing "as a service"—which includes PaaS, IaaS, and infrastructure software as a service (ITSM, backup, archiving)—is set to hit $21.9 billion in 2016, which will more than double by 2020 ($44.2 billion). It heralds an evolution of business in positive and negative ways. It has also become a hot industry term that has been used in many contradictory ways.

All of this translates to the clear evolution around hybrid IT and the big push around digitization. CIOs see the very clear need to create real-world competitive advantages by using IT as an enabler. This is where hybrid cloud comes in.

Driving hybrid infrastructure

There are several very real trends toward cloud platforms, including cloud analytics, self-service data integration, and low-cost computing, but who is the driving force behind the hybrid cloud and data center push? CIOs are no longer just "information" officers—they now help with "innovation" and "integration" as well. Now that enterprises are transitioning from their legacy systems, leading the innovation and integration role is necessary: CIOs should be masters of balance and collaboration, marrying the traditional day-to-day job of IT operations with the strategic goal of connecting technology, business, organizations, and data to meet future business needs.

To create an strong business environment, CIOs must embrace hybrid infrastructure. Here's why:

1. Agility

A hybrid cloud environment allows your business to respond to market changes when you create an agile business model that can adapt quickly. An agile environment can also generate new ideas and business efficiencies more quickly. This is where the CIO comes in: they have to be leaders in both business and IT, helping align key people with changing IT requirements. Agility means being able to respond to both technological and business needs.

2. Minimizing risk

A business changes all the time—new companies are bought, new users are brought in, and new applications are constantly being deployed. How well can your data center and cloud keep up? Hybrid infrastructure enables a flexible business; however, a big part of being flexible is also planning around risk. CIOs must allocate portions of their budgets for disaster recovery and business continuity initiatives. Risk aversion helps keep the business flexible by allowing it to function through disaster events. Hybrid environments further enable this by distributing workloads, data, and users.

3. Speed of innovation

It's no wonder that the "I" in "CIO" now refers to "innovation" as well. The use of cloud and hybrid infrastructure systems allows administrators to test new applications, service models, and even greater levels of automation. Remember, much of the cloud is built around the software that powers it, so you can leverage these efficiencies to allow your business to innovate faster and respond more quickly to market changes.

When you incorporate these three outcomes into the role of the next-generation CIO, you begin to truly align your business with the power of IT. Most of all, CIOs become more agile in generating ideas, and planning, delivering, and managing IT. Moving forward, organizations must work with people who can support an evolving technological landscape and keep up with growing business demands.

To learn about how to unleash your IT potential, discover HPE's infrastructure solutions.

Judy-Anne Goldman
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About the Author


My work with HPE's Enterprise.nxt team gives me a way to share my passion for emerging technology. I love connecting people to innovation, and sharing stories that help others engage with and understand the world around them. I'm a digital nomad, often found traveling with my micro companion KC, a 10-pound mini Dachshund.

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