Gartner Says Hybrid IT is Transforming the Role of IT

Special Report Shows Hybrid IT Challenges Longstanding Practices of IT Organisations and Business Models of Traditional IT Vendors

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Hybrid IT is transforming IT architectures and the role of IT itself, according to Gartner, Inc. Hybrid IT is the result of combining internal and external services, usually from a combination of internal and public clouds, in support of a business outcome.

In the Gartner Special Report, "Hybrid IT: How Internal and External Cloud Services are Transforming IT" (, analysts explained that hybrid IT relies on new technologies to connect clouds, sophisticated approaches to data classification and identity, and service-oriented architecture, and heralds significant change for IT practitioners.

"Many organisations have now passed the definitional stage of cloud computing and are testing cloud architectures inside and outside the organisation and over time, the cloud will simply become one of the ways that we 'do' computing, and workloads will move around in hybrid internal/external IT environments," said Chris Howard, managing vice president at Gartner. "As a result, the traditional role of the enterprise IT professional is changing and becoming multifaceted. A hybrid IT model requires internal and external IT professionals to support the business capabilities of the organisation."

Cloud computing's business model - the ability to rapidly provision IT services without large capital expenditures - is appealing to budget-minded executives. CEOs and CIOs are pressuring IT organisations to lower overheads by offloading services to cloud providers. However, when IT organisations investigate potential cloud services, the market's volatility reveals that not all cloud services are created equal.

"IT organisations are taking an 'adopt and go' strategy to satisfy internal customer IT consumerisation and democratisation requirements," Mr Howard said. "Many IT organisations are adopting public cloud computing for noncritical IT services such as development and test applications, or for turnkey software as a service (SaaS) applications such as web analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) that can holistically replace internal applications and enable access for a mobile workforce."

For critical applications and data, IT organisations have not adopted public cloud computing as quickly. Many IT organisations discover that public cloud service providers (CSPs) cannot meet the security requirements, integrate with an organisation's management, or guarantee availability necessary to host critical applications. Therefore, organisations continue to own and operate internal IT services that house critical applications and data.

However, the public cloud has affected internal customers. Because of the pervasive growth of public clouds, many business units and internal customers have used and grown accustomed to IT as a service and have built business processes and budget plans with cloud computing in mind. Now these internal customers are demanding that IT organisations build internal private clouds that not only house critical applications, but also provide a self-service, quickly provisioned, showback-based IT consumption model.

"IT organisations that do not match the request for IT as a service run the risk of internal customers bypassing the IT organisation and consuming IT services from the external cloud, thereby placing the company at greater risk," said Mr Howard. "IT organisations realise that they not only need to compete with the public cloud consumption model, but also must serve as the intermediary between their internal customers and all IT services - whether internal or external."

IT organisations are becoming the broker to a set of IT services that are hosted partially internally and partially externally - hybrid IT architecture. By being the intermediary of IT services, IT organisations can offer internal customers the price, capacity and speed of provisioning of the external cloud while maintaining the security and governance the company requires, and reducing IT service costs.

This model of service delivery challenges both the longstanding practices of IT organisations and the business models of traditional IT vendors. Gartner expects that most organisations will maintain a core set of primary service providers (cloud and noncloud) extended by an ecosystem of edge providers who fulfil specific solution requirements.

"Hybrid IT is the new IT and it is here to stay. While the cloud market matures, IT organisations must adopt a hybrid IT strategy that not only builds internal clouds to house critical IT services and compete with public CSPs, but also utilises the external cloud to house noncritical IT services and data, augment internal capacity, and increase IT agility," said Mr Howard. "Hybrid IT creates symmetry between internal and external IT services that will force an IT and business paradigm shift for years to come."

Additional information is available in the Gartner Special Report "Hybrid IT: How Internal and External Cloud Services are Transforming IT" at The Special Report includes video commentary of more than a dozen reports examining the various elements of Hybrid IT.
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