My answer on Quora
According to Gartner Research – a hybrid cloud strategy is a policy-based service provisioning platform that spans internal and external cloud resources.
If you don’t have a hybrid cloud now, Gartner says you will in the future. At the moment, the cloud is still being developed and the hybrid cloud is today where the cloud market was just 3 years ago. Gartner predicts that by 2017 half of mainstream enterprises will will have a hybrid cloud. So yes…companies should evaluate a hybrid cloud strategy.
Look at the company and see whether a change in IT business strategy will not only help the company for the immediate present but also the foreseeable future. With the changes in an industry, it may be necessary for your company to keep up with the pace of change. As a small/medium sized business, a hybrid cloud can help to create efficiences that large corporations could afford. Alternatively, a large business can use a hybrid cloud strategy to stay at the forefront of innovation and speed.
KYP (Know Your Platform)
Platforms from various providers are still in their earliest stages. VMware just released its public/hybrid cloud platform last fall. Microsoft has had its platform out for longer, but Rackspace is still developing its private cloud platform based on OpenStack code, which continues to mature and evolve. Joyent’s hybrid cloud offering is based on its SmartOS, which is an internally-developed operating system that runs its public cloud. SmartDataCenter is the name of Joyent’s private cloud platform that uses SmartOS, which customers can run on their own premises.
Hybrid = Comfort
A hybrid cloud strategy reduces capital and operational expenses. However, don’t be so quick take the next step without knowing what the cloud is and how it may change the mentality and operational structure of your company. The best step to take before creating a plan is to have a test group within the company.
If you create controlled access to a team, implementation and operation of cloud applications can help you to not only streamline the process but also observe how the team adapts to the new technology would be optimal
Any strategy should be a joint effort between the business and IT. Create a strategy that involves your most trusted partners, suppliers, and customers so that your company can better understand how these constituents want to collaborate with you in the future. Use all this as the foundation for your hybrid cloud strategy but do not forget about the industry that you’re in (i.e. regulations and policies of your industry.
It isn’t practical to try to do everything at once. Most companies will need a staged implementation of a hybrid cloud strategy in which they deploy parts of the overall plan in phases. Whatever the decision, a hybrid cloud strategy is a multi-year effort that will include everything from private cloud services to support for internal development and deployment.
The hybrid cloud strategy is one that should start to come into the conversation when looking at a 3-5 year outlook of a companies internal IT and processes. It’s important to stay agile and flexible because the cloud is a huge game changer!
A simple hunter/gatherer.