Beyond Hybrid Cloud: Why You Should Care About The Hybrid Enterprise

August 2nd, 2011Cloud Computing


It was just a few years ago that the discussion of cloud centered on just what exactly cloud was and how it might be used. Then we zoomed in, sub-dividing cloud into its various delivery models – public, private, the various XaaS offerings, and ultimately hybrid cloud. The hybrid cloud concept is typically defined as two or more clouds that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability.

Today, however, it is time to pull the focus back and look at the broader picture of the complete range of IT delivery models that are deployed by the enterprise to support the workloads providing essential business services. We believe this broad view of IT delivery is critical to success in a forward-looking IT organization, and this is what Unisys calls the Hybrid Enterprise.

So how do you define Hybrid Enterprise? A Hybrid Enterprise has the following attributes:

  • Cloud and non-cloud, and internal and external IT service delivery models
  • Each delivery model is a unique entity
  • Integrated management environment; and common technology, processes and policies spanning the delivery models

These attributes collectively optimize agility, enable data and application portability, and reduce risk. It’s a big idea, but at its heart what we are saying is that an IT environment in which each delivery model operates as its own island will create challenges in alignment and flexibility, and require substantially more management overhead to operate.

Starting with this Hybrid Enterprise concept, we can now start to analyze each of IT’s workloads regardless of whether it is outsourced, hosted on a public cloud, provided via SaaS, or delivered internally via traditional or private cloud models. In my next post, I will break down each workload according to three core components – its application, data center and management attributes, and requirements. A consistent, structured approach to each will enable enterprise IT to deliver a Hybrid Enterprise that best supports the organization’s objectives.


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