The official one month countdown for our Hybrid Enterprise event has begun, and the beers are being brewed for this fine Friday in exactly four weeks time. Following our first speaker announcement last week, we are excited to reveal our second vendor guest speaker: Elliott Young, EMEA Director of Transformation at EMC. Cisilion’s Chief Technology Officer Alex Hooper had a chat with Elliott to pick his brain about #HybridIT. Read, or alternatively watch the interviews below.

How can EMC help our customers?

EMC makes available access to a special software suite called Adaptivity. It is a software suite written to specifically help customers work out which workloads and which data to move into the cloud first. It could be a private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud. This toolset is deliberately architected to make sure it’s the most efficient approach possible.

We don’t make this software available as a sole product, it’s only available to the professional services team. What that means is that we can customise the solution specifically for that customer. The customer doesn’t have to have any particular investment in any additional software or hardware to make it work. This service means that at the end of the process you get an individual score for each business application and work load. Based on that score you can create a migration strategy that says what’s the most effective way to move to the hybrid cloud – either by re-writing core components or by de-commissioning existing applications and harvesting the data so it’s still available or by retiring applications all together. Or by taking a step to approach to retain by some applications as they are now and target them for migration in the future.

3 Key trends when moving to the hybrid environment?

Organisations are in a lot of pressure from business units to move to the hybrid cloud solution as quickly as possible. So that they can develop agile, third platform solutions immediately. That means also getting access to the data and ensuring the data is in the right place to be accessible for the hybrid cloud solution. We want to make sure those applications that have been created are reporting back in real time and crucially, which is different from legacy style applications, there should always be an option for predictive analytics, so we can predict what is happening to the customer experience and leverage that in the best way possible.

The Main Challenges when moving to a hybrid environment?

A lot of customers have a concern that right now they have a huge number of business applications and huge amount of data which they need to run and operate on a day to day basis. These business applications aren’t going away any time soon so it’s a real challenge with “what will I do with these apps?” We want to make sure that there’s a clear path to the hybrid cloud, which gives small manageable chunks that customers can do in a simple framework. Particularly that means understanding:

  1. What is the criticality of the business applications and the data that supports those applications
  2. Understanding what is the infrastructure that runs those today
  3. Understanding the cost of those critical applications

When you actually measure this in your own environment, then you can come up with a very clear strategy that says the most efficient, the fastest way to getting into a hybrid cloud solution is by targeting these business applications first and this data first and prioritising that. Often what we find if customers take this approach, often the approach comes self-funding. And in today’s world of getting out of existing infrastructure and freeing up budget to innovating new applications, and this is a critical thing.

So ideally I would say: try to find the approach that does it in small manageable chunks and self-funding allows you to build a strong hybrid cloud platform.

How do you see the hybrid cloud evolving in the future?

I think there are a few different aspects to this. From a technology point of view I think there is an expectation that applications and data will be available immediately, pretty much anywhere. From a technology perspective that translates to 100% adoption of solid storage on storage, whether its on enterprise hybrid on cloud site or whether it’s on the public cloud. Public cloud vendors will also be moving to that kind of approach.

What it means from the business side is that businesses will approach CIOs and senior level IT decision-makers, and ask them to give them access to a specific capability without clearly defining what the business requirements could be. This is where we have the approach of “failed fast”, which basically means give the business unit the ability to try out new ideas and see if they work and take them forward, or then just kill them. Often, this can be quite a daunting task for the IT department because normally you would like to have a large set of requirements. Now what we are looking at is that it’s more important to have a very fast, very strong, very scalable capability and make that available to business units and see how they consume it. See how they disrupt their existing markets, see how they introduce new roles, like the Citizen Data Scientist.

This kind of requirement that may start off as a bit fuzzy, could lead up to the business applications that actually have a massive impact on the future state of the company. So i would say it’s a great thing to look out for. IT Managers shouldn’t be concerned if they’re being asked to provide this type of capability even if it might sound fuzzy. The main thing is that business leaders have access to that hybrid cloud solution that gives them that flexibility.

Interested to hear more from Elliott on how to maintain control of your data and business applications? Join Cisilion for our free #HybridIT2016 event on 22nd April at the London Fields Brewery. An event not to be missed – secure your free place here:http://events.cisilion.com/hybrid/#register