More than likely, your organization already employs some version of a hybrid cloud approach to its IT architecture. In fact, you are likely operating between six and eight clouds, like most organizations.

It’s also likely that your organization’s mix of cloud environments has some level of on-premises infrastructure integration that spans across it and includes edge computing and/or distributed cloud. When managed correctly, this hybrid cloud infrastructure can do more than optimize your business — it can transform it. The recent IBM Institute of Business Value report, Mastering Hybrid Cloud, points out five key challenges to achieving hybrid cloud mastery. The first of these challenges is architecture.

According to the report, 97% of organizations claim to use more than one cloud. Not to mention, the average organization is anticipated to have 10 clouds by 2023. That’s a serious amount of potential chaos to manage. So how do you bring order to the chaos of a crowded cloud estate and move one step closer to hybrid cloud mastery?

Step 1: Build a single, integrated hybrid cloud platform

A single, integrated hybrid cloud platform and application architecture is the foundation on which to mount and connect all the parts. Instead of disconnected components that accomplish little on their own, it’s important to establish a united system that can save cost and create ease.

A hybrid cloud platform streamlines service provisioning and consumption through a convenient and cost-effective “build applications once, deploy them anywhere” superpower. Developers build microservices once and can then reuse them in applications that run anywhere in the cloud estate. It defines landing zones that empower platform users with a reduced level of technical and administrative burden. These zones include where your data is stored and used — and even where and how it’s secured.

Step 2: Align your hybrid cloud platform with your customer-facing product

That integrated hybrid cloud platform begs for its complement: a business-aligned application architecture. This framework guides decisions about how applications work in a hybrid cloud environment. By removing the guesswork, you can achieve greater levels of agility and innovation.

Keep in mind that the hybrid cloud platform you’re building is a platform for service delivery. You’re delivering those cloud platform services to customers who define what “value” looks like. Defining customer-centric design thinking principles at the outset of platform development can pay big dividends when you begin to launch platform services.

Step 3: Find the ideal balance

The ideal balance is where your organization’s hybrid cloud platform IT roadmap drives cloud performance improvements. That may sound obvious, but achieving it is far from commonplace across organizations today, especially in regulated environments where compliance and regulatory reporting concerns often require an on-premises storage option for the highest security.

Aim to balance resources effectively and achieve your growth goals without sacrificing operational requirements or creating undue risk. Achieving balance isn’t easy, but with optimized architecture automation, streamlined DevSecOps and risk reduction across the hybrid multicloud spectrum, it can be achieved.

Why tackle the architectural challenge?

No matter what your business and IT transformation goals are, an integrated, open hybrid cloud platform can help you:

Foster greater innovation and reduce time to market.
Protect your data and manage regulatory changes.
Boost developer productivity and develop new product solutions more quickly.
Manage complexity in your infrastructure while streamlining your operations.
Adopt new technology while shifting your CapEx to OpEx.

Done right, a hybrid cloud platform is a unifying strategy that orchestrates your data and workloads, management and application portability across environments. It’s empowering for your business and can move you closer to getting the most business value out of your hybrid cloud investments. So, are you ready to tackle the challenge?

Get the report: Mastering Hybrid Cloud

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The post Overcoming the architecture challenges of a hybrid cloud world appeared first on IBM Business Operations Blog.

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