The current priority for IT leaders is to accelerate the speed of service deployment without putting a strain on legacy technologies. You must be able to transform your infrastructure without disrupting your company’s ability to deliver products and services. Whether you are currently running a hybrid IT environment, or building your next-generation data center, hybrid IT will likely play a significant role in your infrastructure. Finding success with hybrid IT technology is all about finding the right mix of traditional, on-premises environments, along with private and public clouds. Here is your Hybrid IT checklist:

1. Securing Your Hybrid IT

Conducting a comprehensive security audit should be the first task on your list. This includes evaluating firewall policies as well as any existing applications that require a firewall rule. You’ll also want to examine all users, existing privileges, policies and procedures surrounding the granting and monitoring of admin rights. A comprehensive monitoring or logging solution can help identify shadow IT situations, and it will help your organization maintain control. 

2. Workload Placement

Just because you can place your workload on the cloud doesn’t mean that you should. The way your workload is structured should reflect the uniqueness of your infrastructure. One-size-fits-all infrastructures may be good for one-size-fits-all applications, but it breaks down as soon as customizations and unique needs hit the scene. Four key factors should influence your workload placement: hybrid IT security and compliance; total cost of ownership; application performance; and level of control with regard to company culture and policies.

3. Cross-platform Management & Monitoring

IT administrators agree that a hybrid infrastructure introduces a host of management and monitoring complexities. You’ll want to avoid the traditional method of pulling together a mixture of siloed tools, as this will only add complexities down the road. Fortunately, tools are emerging that help organizations more easily integrate and manage the entire IT environment from a single solution. When evaluating the monitoring and management solutions for hybrid IT, be sure to consider what capabilities you need in your cloud and how they might impact your whole environment.

4. Evaluating Your Infrastructure

How do you distinguish core vs. critical apps? Identifying your core applications can be a complex task, because applications that support critical business operations vary from one business to another. Taking inventory of your current apps requires administrators to be aware that not every application in use is known to IT. Additionally, some applications may be critical to a particular function, job or project that is not necessarily core to the enterprise

5. Data Security Considerations

Just like all other aspects of hybrid IT, the location you choose for individual workloads depends on several factors, including security. Staying on top of security is an ongoing task, and no single measure or technique can keep a company’s data secure. It all comes down to understanding what responsibilities are outsourced to a cloud vendor, and what will remain the responsibility of the organization. The weakest link in any security system is the human element. People can make mistakes. When considering your information and security strategy, you should ensure that there is always a second set of eyes reviewing all decisions, systems and processes.

6. Investing in Hybrid IT

While adopting a hybrid IT model can bring a number of benefits to your organization, it can be costly. Having a defined plan can help you keep an eye on costs, but don’t expect to see ROI right away. It’s not unusual for savings to begin in year two, but they often grow steadily after that.

The successful transformation to a hybrid infrastructure requires careful planning, a collaborative approach, and deep expertise with leading technologies. Think you know everything you need to know about Hybrid IT? Read “The Truth About Hybrid IT: 5 Things to Avoid,” in our online magazine.