3 min

3 Steps to Optimize Your Hybrid Cloud Environment

Some organizations aren’t maximizing their hybrid cloud architecture because they’re reoperating two separate environments vs. leveraging the power of one strategy. Learn how to reap the full benefits of your hybrid cloud infrastructure.

A hybrid cloud is a mixed computing environment that combines private data center infrastructure with public cloud services, allowing data and applications to be shared between them. It offers extreme flexibility by enabling seamless operation in a location that best aligns with business objectives. A consumption-based cost model can more tightly align IT expenditure to business transaction volumes and provide increased flexibility between capital and operational budgets.

Sounds straightforward, right? Well, not really. Most organizations struggle to truly unify on-premises data centers with major cloud providers. This dated approach has led to technical sprawl, disjointed service delivery, tool sprawl, siloed personnel, security gaps and most importantly, budgetary dilemmas. 

Let me share three strategies to ensure you can maximize your investment and reap the full benefits for your organization.

1. Consider Your Organization’s Business Requirements

If you want to maximize the benefits of a true hybrid cloud infrastructure, you must first consider your business and financial requirements. To have a hybrid cloud strategy that is financially optimized and operationally effective, you need to define your desired goals upfront. If you don’t have a sound strategy based on business outcomes, you’ll most likely waste your cloud spend.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do you want to pursue a hybrid cloud strategy?
  • What operational, technological, and/or compliance requirements are in place that require a hybrid cloud environment?
  • What does your business need to achieve?
  • Is your CFO prepared for the financial shift that comes with a consumption-based model?

When these questions are addressed, one can expect a tangible and measureable positive business outcome. For example, one of our customers, a retailer, closed 1,000 stores when COVID-19 hit. Unfortunately, the company lost its core revenue stream due to brick and mortar store closures. However, two years before the pandemic, the company developed a strategic plan to invest in a new e-Commerce technology stack that was well-architected and built on cloud-native microservices. The goal was to build a solid e-Commerce foundation that could scale up or down with their business. 

Because the customer outlined its objectives upfront and redeveloped its e-Commerce platform, it bounced back quickly as online sales skyrocketed, and the new foundation achieved the following benefits:

  • Instant scalability: Cloud-based services scaled up to meet an increase in online business.
  • Financial alignment: Cloud costs grew in alignment with increased traffic and increased sales.
  • The ability to scale down: When the customer’s stores reopened and its online presence leveled off, the customer’s infrastructure was properly architected to take advantage of this downshift and spend less. This model also aligned with increased spend over holiday and other seasonal events.

2. Upskill Your Staff

Maximizing the return on your investment in hybrid cloud requires upskilling your existing staff. Cloud and on-premises skillsets differ, and it’s important to bridge this gap by providing upskill opportunities.

Some organizations have made the mistake of taking this transformation too lightly by blindly jumping on the cloud bandwagon without any prior planning or skilling strategy. A comprehensive skills training plan can help your organization thrive in a multicloud environment.

3. Modernize How You Operate by Automating Your On- and Off-Premises Workloads

If you want to maximize the benefits of a true hybrid cloud infrastructure, consider automating your on-premises workloads as a first step. Running a hybrid cloud effectively requires the adoption of patterns and practices consistent across whatever platform aptly suits the application and workload, whether that be on-premises, in a public cloud or across multiple clouds. In practice, this means aligning operations, personnel, organizations and processes to common frameworks and automation principles.

If you are ready to optimize your hybrid cloud environment and accelerate your digital transformation efforts, CDW can help. We have the breadth and depth of experience to aid you in your hybrid cloud journey. From design to implementation to managed services, CDW can help solve your unique challenges and work with the right partners to give you an infrastructure that meets your business objectives.

Neil Graver

Neil Graver

Field CIO, CDW
Neil is an executive technology strategist for CDW and an accomplished technology leader with more than 20 years of experience that includes enterprise security development, data security, company acquisition and integrations, automation and cloud infrastructure.