Tech Teams Struggle With Hybrid IT Complexity. How to Overcome It?

Technological advances have revolutionized business operations and paved the way for hybrid IT solutions – a mix of in-house and cloud-based services.

But, despite the promise of flexibility and scalability, technical teams often struggle to manage the complexity that hybrid IT brings to their network infrastructure.

What if tackling these challenges isn't as overwhelming as it appears? Let's look into what a hybrid IT infrastructure entails and how it can provide your organization with a competitive edge.


  • Hybrid IT is an IT infrastructure environment that combines on-premises infrastructure with cloud-based solutions.

  • Different types of hybrid IT models include integrating private and public clouds, using multiple cloud providers, or combining traditional, on-premises data centers with cloud-based solutions from third-party providers.

  • Key benefits of a hybrid IT include increased flexibility, cost efficiency, and improved performance. However, managing the complexity of multiple environments and ensuring data security and compliance can be challenging.

  • There's no denying that a skilfully managed hybrid system offers companies the opportunity to leverage the strengths of both on-premises and cloud-based solutions and gain a competitive advantage through a well-balanced and customized IT infrastructure.

What Is Hybrid IT?

Hybrid IT refers to an IT infrastructure model in which companies use a mix of on-premises data centers and private and public cloud-based solutions from third-party providers.

On-premises data centers are the traditional data centers located within an organization's premises, housing their legacy systems and critical infrastructure that are central to business operations.

Cloud-based solutions, on the other hand, can be broadly categorized as follows:

  • SaaS (Software as a Service): Cloud-based applications and software accessed over the Internet. Examples include Google Workspace, Microsoft 365 and Salesforce.

  • PaaS (Platform as a Service): Cloud-based platforms that provide developers with tools and frameworks to build, deploy, and manage applications without managing the underlying infrastructure. Examples include Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure App Service, and Heroku.

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): Cloud-based infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, storage, and networks that can be provisioned and managed over the Internet. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2, Microsoft Azure VMs, and Google Cloud Compute Engine.

  • Public clouds: These are cloud services provided by third-party providers such as AWS or Google Cloud Platform, as you mentioned. They offer various cloud services to the general public over the Internet.

This integrated technology approach allows companies to distribute their workloads where it makes strategic and operational sense, as well as keep up with dynamic market demands without losing control of sensitive data.

colleagues analyzing data

Accelerating Digital Transformation in the Workplace: The Impact of Hybrid Working on Hybrid IT

The rise of hybrid working has accelerated the digital transformation in the workplace, driving organizations toward a hybrid IT paradigm that integrates the best of traditional infrastructures and cloud solutions.

As the world navigates the changing work landscape, accommodating both remote and in-office activities, the need for adaptable and agile tech solutions is growing stronger. 

Hybrid IT, the solution to this challenge, offers the required flexibility for dispersed teams and varied work environments, ensuring seamless access to tools and data – no matter where employees work from.

With an escalating demand for remote entry, collaboration tools, and secure communication platforms, the swift adoption of cloud-based services is evident. Meanwhile, critical applications needing top-tier security and strict adherence to regulations remain hosted on on-premise systems.

This fusion of physical and virtual infrastructures highlights the importance of hybrid IT in the era of hybrid work.

By leveraging the flexibility and scalability that hybrid IT offers, organizations can compete in the dynamic work landscape and ensure that their employees remain connected, productive and empowered regardless of their location or work style.

Types of Hybrid IT Solutions

Hybrid IT solutions have emerged as key tools for leveraging technology and increasing efficiency – and now, it seems, they are everywhere! To understand how they can fit into your company’s workflow, it's important to familiarize yourself with the different types that exist. 

  • On-premises infrastructure: The traditional approach to IT infrastructure involves hosting all data servers and storage systems at an organization's physical location. While this type of infrastructure requires significant resources, it provides unparalleled data control. For this reason, it is still used in many hybrid IT models.

  • Public cloud services: These services are provided by third-party providers, offering an immediate computing platform without the need for investing in hardware. Companies opt for these services due to their scalability and cost efficiency. Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are the leading providers.

  • Private cloud services: Private cloud services are dedicated cloud-based environments that are exclusive to a single organization. Unlike public clouds shared by many, private clouds offer tighter security and control. They can be within an organization's own data centers or managed by third-party service providers on behalf of the organization. 

  • Hybrid clouds: In a hybrid cloud setup, an organization can use a mix of on-premises infrastructure, public cloud services and private cloud services to meet its needs. These environments are interconnected to facilitate smooth integration and allow for flexible movement of data.

  • Multi-cloud arrangements: include setting up multiple distinct cloud environments, which can consist of both public and private clouds. Different cloud platforms are used to handle various workloads, aiming to make the most of each platform's advantages.

The trend toward using multiple clouds is due to the desire of some companies to take advantage of multiple cloud providers and not be tied to a single provider.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS is another cornerstone of the hybrid IT solution, where key software platforms are hosted remotely by vendors rather than installed on company-owned computers or servers. Using these options, companies can build a 'hybrid IT' solution that meets their unique technology needs while balancing control, cost efficiency, flexibility and security.

No matter which combination you prefer, one or more of these choices will enable you to create successful hybrid IT ecosystems that effectively support modern work requirements with the most optimal capabilities.


Hybrid IT Management Strategies

Understanding hybrid IT is a step in the right direction, but a lack of strategic management could turn this compelling solution into an operational nightmare. Managing the complexity of this solution requires solid strategies that impact how you implement and manage your hybrid IT infrastructure

Here are are some proven techniques for streamlining management processes:

  • First, implementing a unified monitoring system goes a long way toward ensuring smooth operations. These systems monitor hybrid technology services across multiple platforms and provide key insights into bottlenecks, performance gaps and areas in need of optimization.

  • Add to that automated workflow management. Performing repetitive tasks can take up significant resources and time. Automation boosts productivity by taking over mundane tasks such as data backup, update deployment or security checks.

  • In addition, strategic management of hybrid solutions IT should not overlook risk management. Early identification of potential risks and timely implementation of preventive measures can mitigate major setbacks down the line.

  • Lastly, investing in continuous learning is also worth mentioning. Technology is rapidly evolving every day, and keeping up with these developments in the hybrid IT space can ensure that your team remains competent enough to adapt quickly.

Incorporating these strategies into your overall operations plan not only simplifies the management of your hybrid IT infrastructure, but can also optimize system functionality and save costs and resources.

Top Benefits of Hybrid IT

Hybrid IT solutions indeed offer numerous advantages for companies willing to embrace it.

  • Flexibility: by merging on-premises infrastructures with cloud-based services, hybrid IT offers unprecedented flexibility. It enables enterprises to quickly adapt their technology capabilities to meet varying market demands.

  • Cost efficiency: a balance can be struck between keeping critical applications and data on-premises and moving less critical functions to the cloud. This selective approach can lead to significant savings in infrastructure investments.

  • Improved performance: sensitive operations are essentially managed on local networks (which often offer faster processing times), while simpler tasks are assigned to the cloud to enable rapid distribution of resources.

Drawbacks of Hybrid IT

While a hybrid IT model gives you more flexibility and scalability, it can be challenging to manage – mainly, because you need to connect two very different environments: the traditional on-premises systems and the cloud-based systems.

  • Complexity: Depending on which hybrid solutions you choose, bringing multiple platforms together inevitably leads to complexity around integration and operations management.

  • Security issues: With diversity also comes opportunities for potential cybersecurity breaches, creating pressing data security obligations for organizations.

  • Superior tech skills: Successful use of a hybrid IT infrastructure requires a team that understands both traditional on-premises systems and modern cloud services. Provide training to your IT team, ASAP!

Hybrid IT Management Best Practices

Introducing hybrid IT services into your technology stack can be a daunting task. As a recent report from SolarWinds shows, the continued expansion of hybrid IT is increasing the complexity of IT management, and technical teams feel a lack of confidence about how best to manage it. 

In fact, only 16% of tech professionals surveyed said they felt extremely confident!

One particular area of concern for respondents is visibility into their networks, applications, and infrastructure. With the increasing shift to complex, hybrid IT environments, technology professionals say they have limited visibility into what's going on.

However, following some best practices for managing hybrid IT can restore their confidence, as evidenced by the growing number of organizations that have used and continue to use hybrid IT to improve their performance. Here are some of them:

  • Clearly define business objectives: Establish clear business goals first before entering the realm of hybrid IT. Once you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can design a customized infrastructure solution to meet those needs.

  • Embrace automation: Strive for automation whenever possible. Automated processes can significantly lighten the load on your technical team by reducing the manual workload associated with routine tasks or operations.

  • Optimize resources: Ensure optimal allocation and use of resources – both on-premises and cloud-based within your hybrid infrastructure – to minimize waste and enhance productivity.

  • Monitor performance: Constantly monitor the performance of the various components in your hybrid IT environment to identify problems immediately and implement the necessary solutions without delay.

  • Invest in training: We said it before and we'll say it again: Invest heavily in training members of your IT team to understand the intricacies of managing multiple systems within a hybrid IT setup. 

Adaptability equals success – make sure your team has no issues adapting!


Security Challenges and Considerations

As more and more organizations worldwide grapple with the intricacies of hybrid IT, they also face a number of security-related challenges

Data Protection

The first major challenge revolves around data protection. When using a hybrid IT model, critical business data is often spread across multiple devices, applications, and on-cloud solutions. This dispersion can make it difficult to implement effective and comprehensive protection measures. A key consideration should be robust encryption protocols to protect data.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance is another important issue, especially for industries that handle sensitive data that is subject to strict data privacy and security regulations. This is because numerous regulations – such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – impose specific requirements on how companies handle, store and secure data.

Updating Security Measures

A third hurdle is updating your organization’s security measures as you go about making changes to your hybrid IT ecosystem. When introducing new platforms or cloud services into an existing environment, it is essential to address security concerns and make necessary adjustments to ensure robust protection. For example, it may require adjustments to firewalls or vulnerability scanning tools.

The Human Factor

Finally, the human factor also plays a significant role in mitigating or exacerbating these security challenges. All employees must be thoroughly trained on cyber threats and how their actions can potentially compromise cybersecurity efforts across the hybrid infrastructure – this is non-negotiable.

Admittedly, dealing with these challenges can make things more complex for companies. However, if you tackle these issues head on thorough solid planning, you can derive excellent benefits from your hybrid IT system while effectively managing potential risks.

How to Choose the Right Technology for a Hybrid IT Environment

Several factors must be carefully considered when selecting the right technology solutions, starting with the particular needs of your business. 

The whole point of a hybrid IT solution is to strategically align with your operational needs and support your teams – in other words, make people’s lives easier, not harder. Identify specific tech that effectively supports your goals, whether it's cloud storage, data analytics capabilities, or automation of routine tasks.

With that in mind, always consider interoperability between the different systems you want to see at work – together. As different services work together in a hybrid framework, smooth interaction between components is essential for optimal efficiency.

The next point is scalability. A key feature of hybrid infrastructures is their ability to grow and adapt as your business evolves. Therefore, choose technologies that can scale up or down to adapt to changing requirements rather than being bound by rigid parameters.

Then comes security and, in particular, regulatory compliance. It's important that the technology systems you choose comply with all relevant data protection laws, while also having advanced security features to protect against potential threats.

Last but not least, check the credibility of the provider before making a final decision. Find out as much as you can about the vendor's reputation, technical support capabilities, contract terms, and pricing structure to avoid future complications.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution here; every business has unique requirements that require customized solutions. However, careful consideration of these aspects when selecting the appropriate technology to address hybrid IT challenges can greatly simplify the process.

The Bottom Line

Hybrid IT goes beyond being a mere buzzword in the technology industry these days. 

It's a great way for more and more companies to take advantage of both on-premises and cloud-based solutions, and customize their IT infrastructure to meet their specific needs.

And, with careful planning and implementation, hybrid IT could be just what your business needs to stay competitive and maximize efficiency. Have you tried it yet?

Topics: Workplace technology

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