How to Create Your Open Hybrid Cloud Strategy

It has become clear that the landscape of cloud adoption is one of hybrid and multicloud deployment. According to Gartner, by the end of 2020, 75% of organizations will have deployed a multi or hybrid cloud model.

Hybrid cloud is, without a doubt, an important part of the transformation that is taking place across government. But governments face several challenges when it comes to hybrid. These include cloud or vendor lock-in, management struggles, poor visibility and more.

In short, traditional cloud strategies that once were seen as accelerating digital transformation can actually hold government back.

Agencies can’t afford to be locked into solutions that will limit options or prove expensive to modify once in place — but neither can they afford to stand still in today’s rapidly evolving IT landscape. How can agencies maximize the benefits of today’s innovative technologies while avoiding these risks?

That’s where an open hybrid cloud strategy comes in.

An open hybrid cloud strategy brings the interoperability, workload portability and flexibility of enterprise supported open source software to enterprise environments.

Here’s how: In the early years of cloud adoption, agencies typically took a “lift and shift” approach to moving applications to the cloud. These applications would run in the cloud, rather than on premises. But essentially, the applications themselves were largely unchanged.

A modern approach to architecting applications, utilizing microservices where appropriate, distributed data, as well as modern languages and frameworks, can be run wherever needed – on premises, in the cloud, or across both environments – making it easier to adapt to changing requirements quickly and cost-effectively.

Think back to earlier days of cellphones. These old-fashioned handheld devices made calls, sent texts and could even search the web. But it wasn’t until the app store sprung into existence that the cellphone became the smartphone.

Now with a variety of applications available, people tailor their phone to how they use it – installing games, social media, productivity tools or whatever they want. And when an app has outlived its usefulness, they can turn off notifications or delete it. Users now have ultimate control of how their phone will work for them.

That’s the same kind of flexibility and agility that cloud-native technology provides.

And by leveraging enterprise supported open source technologies – including Linux, containers and Kubernetes – agencies can deploy, run and manage workloads in a secure and optimized manner.

Fundamentally, an open hybrid cloud strategy is about helping organizations do the following:

  • Build new, composable, integrated cloud-native apps for new revenue streams.
  • Develop apps and respond to the market more quickly with DevOps agility.
  • Deploy on a scalable and flexible cloud infrastructure that quickly adapts to change.
  • Protect the agency with management, security, and assurance capabilities.

Agencies’ IT requirements are constantly changing. They need an open hybrid cloud strategy in order to maximize existing IT environments and move applications and workloads across them to create a unified experience.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop Academy’s recent course, “Creating Your Open Hybrid Cloud Strategy,” created in partnership with Red Hat. Access the full course here.

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