A lot of what we’ve explored so far in the move to a middle ground between fully automated cloud computing and traditional on premise IT have been the big, disruptive elements. The good news is that strategies for a hybrid IT environment can incorporate much of what’s worked for technology professionals in the past.

Along with cloud computing, for example, most established companies have had to navigate through previous waves of technological change. This includes the shift to mobile computing via smartphones and tablets, the digitization of processes through the web and social media, and more recently the introduction of “smart homes” and offices through sensors that make up the Internet of Things.

Hybrid IT differs from these sea changes in that it’s already here — you don’t necessarily “adopt” it so much as better orchestrate it for a particular set of business outcomes.

  • Define ‘mission critical’ to build the right business case: IT departments always need to get buy-in from the CIO and the rest of senior leadership team to drive meaningful change. Be prepared to explain how a particular application contributes to driving revenue, reducing operational costs, entering new markets or allowing new products and services to be created.
  • Break down silos and invite stakeholders: There would have been fewer CRM failures in the 1990s if more sales teams had been consulted and involved in the deployment plan. Even the best analytics applications will gather dust if employees find them too difficult to use. Hybrid IT will have an even greater impact because, while the changes being made might appear behind-the-scenes or invisible to most, it can make the difference between reaching business goals or failing. As you consider which applications are a priority and why, ensure the right mix of voices influence your decision.
  • Measure What Really Matters: Companies didn’t give employees access to social tools like Twitter so they could goof off — it was about being responsive to new channels for listening to and serving customers. Similarly, smartphones were either given out or provisioned with business applications so employees could work remotely and boost productivity, among other things. Hybrid IT optimization will not be so much about “uptime” but metrics that are tied to overall business performance. Consider how modernizing, migrating or integrating applications will speed up the time to making important decisions, responding to industry changes or boosting employee satisfaction and engagement.

Now it’s your turn: Take our complementary hybrid IT optimization assessment, where you’ll walk through some of the choices we’ve discussed here, and receive a customized report that will arm you with data about the benefits and what migrating specific applications could mean for your organization. It’s not about going “all-in” — this is a way to go in with your eyes open.