The rapid rise of the digital economy is causing many businesses to take a close look at how they buy and deploy information technology.

As they rethink traditional approaches, they are putting immense pressure on their IT departments to embrace new technologies and methods, such as the cloud. As with all change, this can be scary territory, especially for those who are responsible for leading cloud initiatives. However, I don’t see these changes as scary, I see them as an opportunity not to be missed.

A new agility

Simply put, the cloud provides new opportunities to improve agility, reduce time to market, and leverage a new set of economics. Businesses can now build IT systems that take advantage of the best aspects of both private and public cloud services, commonly referred to as hybrid cloud. According to IDC, more than 80 percent of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017.

A true hybrid cloud is one that customers can build on their own terms. It’s the result of integrating a unique combination of resources that span multiple technologies and providers that are best for the business. There’s no such thing as the hybrid cloud. It’s your hybrid cloud, and you should have choice in how you build it; how you deliver services to support your business; and, most important, how you manage and protect your data across resources.

The data fabric solution

Rapid innovation comes from expanding beyond your own datacenter and gaining access to an ever-expanding set of elastic services across clouds. The promise of a true multi-cloud environment is at your fingertips, but without the right set of tools, services and visibility, managing data across disparate platforms is daunting.

"Your datacenter is no longer an island, it is now connected via bridges and tunnels and trains to many other islands, which is both liberating and frightening." 

Your datacenter is no longer an island, it is now connected via bridges and tunnels and trains to many other islands, which is both liberating and frightening. This change has implications on the people in your IT organization, and it creates a fundamental shift in how people do their jobs to support the business.

Cloud introduces new opportunities, whether it’s providing an agile, inexpensive testing and development environment; access to cloud compute for elastic workloads; or leveraging the economics of cloud for data protection. Your organization must embrace change to take advantage of these new opportunities while balancing the need to protect and steward your data.

To transition to a digital future, opt for seamless data management across a choice of public and private clouds. With this choice comes the freedom to innovate and to make optimal decisions for your business, and perhaps most important, it provides the very foundation needed to embrace change.