It’s hard to believe how much technology has evolved over just the last 20 years. In the year 2000, less than 7% of the world was online. These days, more than half of the global population has internet access. Naturally, this evolution has had a significant impact on businesses and organizations that rely on information technology — aka IT — to power their operations, ensure connectivity, and secure their data. 

In this article, we’ll discuss all things hybrid IT, including hybrid IT solutions, hybrid IT infrastructure, and hybrid IT management.

What are hybrid IT solutions?

Hybrid IT solutions are a mix of information technology infrastructures, platforms, and services. Before the cloud came along, the IT services contract was typically handled by an in-house department or external supplier that maintained all information technology resources on the organization or business’ premises. However, as demand for digital business processes has grown and cloud computing has expanded, hybrid IT has come to encompass both on-site resources and private and public cloud infrastructures managed internally, by an external provider, or both. 

Hybrid IT solutions can include any combination of:

  • On-premises
    On-premises or on-prem IT was the original model for information technology management. Hybrid IT solutions may include some on-prem elements, such as local, on-site servers or data centers.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
    Infrastructure as a Service offers organizations the ability to rent or lease servers for their computing and data storage needs, rather than purchasing and maintaining their own servers in on-prem data centers. IaaS can be more efficient and cost-effective than owning and managing IT infrastructure on-prem, particularly if IT is not a part of your organization’s core competency. Other benefits of IaaS include access to apps and data in the event of a local outage and the ability to scale resources up or down quickly depending on demand.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
    Platform as a Service takes Infrastructure as a Service one step further. Along with the underlying IT infrastructure, PaaS also provides development tools and frameworks for building and hosting applications. Put simply, PaaS allows your programmers to focus solely on coding and testing apps instead of splitting their time between app building and IT infrastructure management.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
    Software as a Service refers to any digital app or service accessed through a web browser instead of being downloaded and installed directly onto your computer or business network. SaaS applications include accounting and HR software, customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing apps, project management solutions, and everything in between. 

What is hybrid cloud IT?

Hybrid cloud IT combines one or more public cloud services with a private cloud system. With a hybrid cloud IT setup, the private and public clouds are connected with proprietary software that enables communication between each service and provides the flexibility to move workloads and data between cloud solutions as needed.

Hybrid cloud solutions are preferable because they offer organizations greater control over their data. Sensitive or proprietary information can be securely stored on a private cloud or local data center while a public cloud is leveraged for its robust resources.

What is hybrid IT management?

Hybrid IT management is an approach that integrates cloud computing services like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS with traditional on-prem tools and systems. For organizations that have made significant investments in on-site infrastructure, it may be impractical to discard those in favor of an all-cloud IT system. However, those legacy resources can be leveraged in conjunction with cloud services to maximize performance and remain competitive.

How could hybrid IT services benefit your organization?

There are a few key benefits to a hybrid IT approach. They include:

  1. Greater data efficiency
    A hybrid IT infrastructure can help ensure the right amount of data efficiency depending on the specific requirements. For example, applications that require high speeds and low latency can run on an on-prem network, while apps or programs with less intense data needs can run on a cloud service.
  2. More robust security
    Hybrid IT allows organizations to apply stricter, more rigid security protocols to sensitive data stored in on-prem data centers or colocation facilities. Non-sensitive information can be stored on a cloud.
  3. Improved customer service
    With hybrid IT, you’ll also have the right capabilities and platforms to provide impeccable customer service. On-premise and co-location IT help ensure the highest bandwidth and data speeds are available for customer service processes. Other IT functions can be optimized in a public or private cloud network.

What to consider when setting up hybrid IT infrastructure

When it comes to setting up a hybrid IT infrastructure, you need to consider the IT resources you already have at your disposal. What can be kept and integrated into a hybrid IT management approach? What elements will you replace with cloud solutions? How can the IT service contract rates match up to your IT budget?

You’ll also want to consider how much time you want to spend on managing your infrastructure. If you have a limited in-house IT department, you’ll want them to remain free to focus on your on-prem resources, which means managed cloud solutions will be a better fit. However, if you have some flexibility with your IT personnel, unmanaged solutions may save you some money.

How to plan your hybrid IT roadmap with Wrike

Planning a hybrid IT roadmap is a significant project. Wrike’s cloud-based project management platform can help you prepare your organization to transition to a hybrid IT infrastructure. With a centralized information repository and streamlined communication, you’ll be able to map out a seamless process for integrating cloud services with legacy IT systems. Upgrade your customer service, beef up security, and ensure your apps and systems get the speed and power they need to perform optimally. 

Get started with a two-week free Wrike trial today.