Published on October 29, 2023, 9:43 pm

TLDR: Hybrid and remote work have made IT environments more complex, as organizations must manage workloads across cloud and on-premises infrastructure while complying with local market regulations. This creates a burden for IT teams who must ensure business continuity with limited resources. Many IT professionals feel unprepared to handle these challenges due to budget constraints, time limitations, and a lack of appropriate tools. The expansion of hybrid IT has led to increased management complexity, driven by the need for new technologies, increased requirements from multiple departments, fragmentation between legacy and new technologies, and a lack of consistent policies. Developing consistent policies across different environments is crucial for reducing complexity and enhancing security. CIOs should demonstrate the strategic value of IT initiatives to gain buy-in from leadership teams and focus on delivering quick wins with tangible business value.

Hybrid and remote work have significantly impacted the complexity of IT environments. Organizations now face the challenge of running workloads and applications across both cloud and on-premises infrastructure, all while navigating evolving priorities driven by local market regulations. This places a heavy burden on IT teams, who must ensure business continuity without stretching their available resources.

According to IDC, as more mission-critical workloads are moved to connected cloud architectures that span public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments, enterprises need to invest in tools that can help them maintain consistent policies and performance across all platforms and end users.

However, achieving this is not an easy task. Many heads of IT struggle with recurring issues such as budget constraints, time limitations, and barriers to implementing observability as a strategy to keep up with the complexity of hybrid IT environments. The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2022—Getting IT Right: Managing Hybrid IT Complexity highlights that many IT professionals feel unprepared or underprepared to address these challenges.

The report reveals that the continued expansion of hybrid IT has led to increased levels of management complexity. Among the participating IT professionals, concerns were expressed about a lack of confidence in how best to manage this complexity. Key drivers contributing to this include the need for new tools and technologies, increased technology requirements from multiple departments, fragmentation between legacy technologies and new ones, and a lack of appropriate tools to handle the complexity.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna, President and CEO of SolarWinds, acknowledges that some of the existing complexity is a result of technology advancements meeting growing digital needs and demands. As organizations adopt distributed data centers instead of relying on a single data center like before, strain on IT teams increases exponentially.

Ramakrishna notes that despite their best intentions, it is challenging for IT teams to satisfy disparate needs due to limited budgets. This issue extends beyond individual organizations—it is an industry-wide problem that affects the entire ecosystem.

One of the barriers to simplifying IT management is the absence of consistent policies across various environments, including on-premises infrastructure, private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid infrastructure. Without these consistencies, organizations not only face increased complexity but also struggle to establish a robust security infrastructure.

Ramakrishna suggests that developing consistent policies across all communication and deployment islands should be a priority. Building and prewiring these policies can help reduce complexity and enhance security.

When it comes to getting leadership buy-in, CIOs must assert their position within enterprises by demonstrating how their work will improve the business’s future and prospects. Additionally, CIOs need to map out their progress, show sequencing, and continuously strive for deliverables. While executing plans is essential, having a strategic vision plays a crucial role as well.

Managing expectations is another challenge for CIOs. CFOs are placing greater scrutiny on investments due to financial pressures, which leads to increased demands for justifications. Given that implementing IT can take months or even years, Ramakrishna suggests focusing on quick wins or “time-to-value” solutions that demonstrate business value quickly. Vendors like SolarWinds can play an important role in delivering this time-to-value metric.

In summary, managing hybrid IT complexity requires organizations to invest in tools that ensure consistent policies and performance across platforms and end users. Enterprises should focus on developing consistent policies across different environments while striving for buy-in from leadership teams. By showcasing the strategic value of IT initiatives and delivering quick wins with tangible business value, CIOs can effectively navigate the complexities of managing hybrid IT environments in today’s ever-changing landscape.

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