Hybrid IT – the future in practice, not theory

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The complexity of hybrid IT can also blindside businesses as it strives to shift away from its current reputation as “something for the future.”

Those of us who’ve spent decades in the tech business have watched IT reshape businesses for the better in boundless ways. And while I cannot speak for all, I’m sure that many of us have also seen just how long it can take for a new service or platform to shake the perception that it is something for the future, rather than a current way of working.

This is exactly what’s happening with hybrid IT on a record scale. A Google search immediately yields a 2012 Gartner report celebrating hybrid IT as the “transformative future.” This means that for at least six years hybrid IT has been billed as an imminent savior; the latest vehicle to manage IT resources and drive the benefits of DevOps and other development cultures.

The fact that hybrid IT is thus perceived is not particularly surprising considering the variety of components, such as blockchain and AI, that contribute to it. Used together, these components can build processes that deliver marginal gains. However, the complexity of hybrid IT can also blindside businesses as it strives to shift away from its current reputation as “something for the future.” This is odd because hybrid IT has been a central plank of Capgemini’s offering for many years now. Originally called Bi-Modal IT, we can now fuse cloud to the offering, making it quicker to explore and resolve both predictable and exploratory styles of working.

Hybrid IT in action

I have been with the company for thirteen years and will soon reach the 12-month mark in my current role as Head of our Global Managed Services with a focus on ADM. During this time, I’ve seen many forward-thinking companies use hybrid IT to power services and applications in order to manage, and then exploit disruptive trends or to power transformative change.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll look at how hybrid IT, far from being a tool of the future, is already delivering for our clients. In this first blog, I focus on a large CPRD corporation for which we used hybrid IT across two major programs: modernizing the IT environment and driving a global delivery model. As a result, our client gained significant reductions in IT spending, shortened procurement timelines, and made the move to Operational Expenditure (OpEx).

Delivering IT modernization

Our client wanted two things: to simplify their IT portfolio and eliminate non-value added and redundant applications. These spanned the entire business—sales and marketing, HR, finance, and more—and included Oracle, Java, Legacy, and Microsoft technologies.

Following an analysis of the portfolio, we created the following categorizations:

  • Retain: Applied to 25–40% of applications with high business value and hosted in N or N-1 software
  • Modernize and reduce: Applied to 40–50% of legacy applications with high business value. This categorization also included new technologies with a moderate business value but some redundant processes that could be modernized
  • Decommission: Applied to 15–25% of applications that were not in use and could be removed, and the resources engaged in hosting and keeping these applications live released.

Of the applications in the first category, approximately 30% were transitioned to the cloud, with hybrid IT delivering:

  • A reduction of IT infrastructure spend
  • A reduction in hardware/OS procurement timelines from a few months to hours/minutes
  • A move from CapEx to OpEx and no hardware replacement cycles
  • Continuous delivery with shorter delivery cycles and deployment options.

In addition to reducing spend, hybrid IT allowed us to increase our client’s agility through our use of the cloud. We also reduced annual licensing costs by standardizing the technology stack and decreasing the number of platforms.

Driving a global delivery model

We also helped the same client transition to a global delivery model and stimulate innovation using hybrid IT to:

  • Lay the groundwork for factory-based delivery
  • Build the foundation for setting up DevOps
  • Migrate to common, lighter patterns to increase business agility
  • Reduce infrastructure and product support costs
  • Reduce the skills required to maintain the portfolio.

The incumbent provider faced difficulties with data collection. Our detailed analysis allowed us to migrate some 200 applications to the cloud in two years, spanning custom, COTS, BI, SAP, CX, and more.

Thanks to hybrid IT’s fundamental ability to balance cloud and on-premises deployments and development, we were able to reduce infrastructure spend by 20% while securing an additional 15–25% in savings by decommissioning and transforming applications into open-source technologies. As far as its global sales and volume reporting platform was concerned, the processing time for weekly and monthly cycles was reduced and reports were made available in real time.

Until next time

With hybrid IT playing a major role in ADM, in future posts I’ll discuss how balancing applications development and maintenance between on-premises and cloud delivers real agility. We’ll cover futureproofing the IT landscape and delivering streamlined IT through superior service integration. For more details on how we can help your organization, please reach out to me.

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