Most IT professionals acknowledge that the cloud is and will be a driving component behind their agencies’ long-term successes; no one expects to move all of their IT infrastructures to the cloud.
Because of regulations and security concerns, many administrators feel it’s best to keep some level of control over their data and applications. They like the efficiencies that the cloud brings, but they aren’t convinced that it’s suitable for everything.
Hybrid IT environments offer benefits, but they can also introduce greater complexity and management challenges. Teams from different disciplines must come together to manage various aspects of in-house and cloud-based solutions. Managers must develop special skillsets that go well beyond traditional IT, and new tools must be deployed to closely monitor this complex environment.
Here are a few strategies managers can implement to close the gap between the old and the new:
1. Use tools to gain greater visibility
Administrators should deploy tools that supply single access points to metrics, alerts, and other data collected from applications and workloads, allowing IT staff to remediate, troubleshoot, and optimize applications, regardless of where they may reside.
2. Use a micro-service architecture and automation
Hybrid IT models will require agencies to become more lean, agile, and cost effective. Traditional barriers to consumption must be overcome and administrators should gain a better understanding of APIs, distributed systems, and overall IT architectures.
Administrators must also prepare to automatically scale, move, and remediate services.
3. Make monitoring a core discipline
Maintaining a holistic view of your entire infrastructure allows IT staff to react quickly to potential issues, enabling a more proactive strategy.
4. Remember that application migration is just the first step
Migration is important, but the management following initial move might be even more critical. Managers must have a core understanding of an application’s key events and performance metrics and be prepared to remediate and troubleshoot issues.
5. Get used to working with distributed architectures
Managers must become accustomed to working with various providers handling remediation as a result of outages or other issues. The result is less control, but greater agility, scalability, and flexibility.
6. Develop key technical skills and knowledge
Agency IT professionals need to learn service-oriented architectures, automation, vendor management, application migration, distributed architectures, API and hybrid IT monitoring, and more.
7. Adopt DevOps to deliver better service
DevOps breaks down barriers between teams, allowing them to pool resources to solve problems and deliver updates and changes faster and more efficiently. This makes IT services more agile and scalable.
8. Brush up on business skills
Administrators will need to hone their business-savvy sides. They must know how to negotiate contracts, become better project managers, and establish the technical expertise necessary to understand and manage various cloud services.
Managing hybrid IT environments takes managers outside their comfort zones. They must commit to learning and honing new skills, and use the monitoring and analytics tools at their disposal. It’s a great deal to ask, but it’s the best path forward for those who want to create a strong bridge between the old and the new.