2022 Will Be the Year of Hybrid Everything
There may be several different associations that come to mind when we hear the word hybrid, but essentially, they all refer to a combination of multiple elements coming together to create something with the best possible capabilities.
In the past, businesses may have attempted to use a one-size-fits-all mentality to inform policies, strategies and structures because it felt more straightforward and simplistic. However, if organizations attempt to follow that path in the future, they will find the lack of flexibility to be an obstacle to growth.
As we’ve seen over the past two years, markets, customer needs and preferences can change seemingly instantaneously. Businesses need to be prepared to navigate those changes with ways of thinking and working that combine the most effective elements of multiple approaches. That is why across every industry, we are seeing a shift toward the world of hybrid to accommodate the need for agility and responsiveness.
In 2022, organizations will need to understand and embrace hybrid more broadly to succeed.
Let’s start with probably the most relevant application in our industry, hybrid cloud
In the world of software, hybrid immediately makes us think of hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud infrastructure will continue to be the most practical and beneficial IT strategy for enterprises in the coming year. Unless you’re starting a new company from scratch, your enterprise likely has layers and layers of technology in place that has built up over time. This means that a monolithic tech stack is simply not realistic.
Instead, businesses need to leverage their years of technology investments and the latest tools available to create the most effective IT environment for their business. Ripping and replacing technology that has served your organization well in the past is not strategic. It causes major disruption to business activity, requires personnel and financial resources, and does not deliver value in the end. Optimizing each layer of your existing stack to deliver modern user experiences and improved performance allows businesses to create a unified IT environment and operate more effectively. Modernizing in place with a hybrid cloud strategy will be the best path forward in the coming year and beyond.
We are also seeing the growing expectation for hybrid work options
IT infrastructure that embraces hybrid cloud is only the beginning of the trend towards a hybrid world. Hybrid work structures that combine options for in-person and remote working are also here to stay. Forcing employees to fully return to the office is not going to be effective for attracting or retaining top talent, especially in competitive hiring markets, so it is up to business leaders to learn new management strategies that are tailored to a permanently hybrid workforce. As we are seeing with the Great Resignation, power is shifting from employer to employee, and employees are demanding more options for flexibility. The pandemic reinforced the importance of work/life balance, and hybrid work options that accommodate employees’ different lifestyles will be a norm going forward.
This new structure will also require changes to the way companies operate and manage IT infrastructure to effectively support dispersed teams. As the tools to enable hybrid teams evolve, IT environments are growing exponentially. Organizations may use multiple programs for collaboration, communication, technical support, security solutions, time management, HR needs, the list goes on and on. IT leaders will need to manage these tools and adapt them to address new needs and challenges as they arise.
Hybrid is more than tools and practices, though, it is a way of thinking
This year, businesses need to change not just their best practices, but their culture around decision-making in order to leverage the hybrid mindset. To execute the process changes that will enable agility, leaders need to move away from “this or that” thinking to open new possibilities. In other words, rather than choosing between options A, B, or C, how can we find a solution that takes the best of each option?
This will be a significant shift as our brains are inclined to create hierarchies and divisions rather than to allow multiple right answers to coexist. To thrive in the hybrid world, we need to unlearn that way of thinking. We need to think in terms of integration and interoperability rather than replacement. This shift from “or” to “and” thinking will be a critical evolution throughout the coming years.
Embracing these changes will require a growth mindset
To leverage hybrid cloud, hybrid work and hybrid thinking, leaders need to have the willingness to embrace a growth mindset in their organizations. Businesses can find the right software and hardware, but if they do not create a culture where teams are effectively wielding these tools, they won’t create real business value.
Rocket is listening to our customers to help some of the biggest companies in the world embrace the hybrid world every day with our products and expert teams. To learn more, visit our site.