Delivering Hybrid IT Value

January 11, 2016

The “hybrid cloud may be garnering increased interest and adoption, but it is already giving way to new terms such as hybrid IT and hybrid enterprise,” writes Eileen Yu on ZDNET. Hybrid IT? Where have we heard this term before?

In 2014, predicted that businesses would need to fill one or more of five hybrid-IT roles in order to succeed. “It’s clear that the 2014 corporate agenda will be dominated by the integration of big data analytics, cloud computing, mobile technology, and social media into the enterprise,” wrote Stephanie Overby in Computerworld New Zealand. She adds, “The differentiator will not be the technology itself, but the business value it delivers.”

It seems that hybrid IT is still here two years later, growing bigger in the cloud, and still focused on business value.

Delivering value is not new to Agile- and Scrum-certified professionals. What continues to be new is the emphasis. Overby wrote, “It won’t be about the ability to simply configure and run a server. Or develop software in isolation. Context will be king.” She says, “Employers will aggressively pursue workers with multi-dimensional talent—combinations of technology, domain, business, process, and people skills, orchestrated in a proper balance to deliver specific solutions.”

Writing for Computerworld’s American online magazine, Patrick Thibodeau put this another way back in 2014: “Employers want workers who understand the business and technology. This trend is increasing the mix of requirements to get an IT job. [One industry expert] estimates that by 2017, 50% of the IT roles will require business knowledge.” The growing adoption of the hybrid cloud indicates that this trend is still active.

The hybrid roles Overby discusses include “enterprise architects who get the cloud,” “security professionals with marketing skills” and “software engineers that do more than generate code.” The question of where to find these people becomes important, as does the question of how to provide a work environment in which these employees succeed.

IT professionals who already fit one or more of the hybrid roles may already exist, but how is a company going to find that coding pro who can use his or her business sense to “bring structure to unstructured” collections of meta-data? One place to look is for individuals with Scrum experience.

A thoughtful look at this trend as it continues through 2017 reveals that Scrum can provide what savvy corporations and IT professionals need.

Scrum uses cross-functional teams in which “team members are generalist/specialists in that they have knowledge of various fields and are experts in at least one,” according to A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK™) by SCRUMstudy. Scrum Teams are also self-organizing and “beyond their subject-matter expertise, it is the soft skills of team members that determine the success of self-organizing teams,” says the SBOK™ Guide. This matches closely with the “multi-dimensional talent — combinations of technology . . . and people skills” listed by Overby.

As each increment of the service, product or desired result is demonstrated by the Scrum Team to the Product Owner and customers, each team member develops a keen business sense and orientation. At any point in the development process, the Scrum Team member is able to articulate the business value of the particular task he or she is producing.

As part of a self-organizing team, Scrum Team members take ownership of the processes and schedules needed to complete their project. They develop domain and process skills that, as Overby says, are “orchestrated in a proper balance to deliver specific solutions.”

As a part of a cross-functional team, each member commits to backing up other workers. While being an expert in an area needed for the project, each worker will also learn an area in which another team member is the expert. The aim here is to be able to substitute for that person in those cases when a team member is not present.

Companies do not have to go searching for individual professionals with hybrid talents; they can “breed” their own. With the implementation of Scrum in the workplace, its processes and best practices will begin to develop cross-functionality within the organization and within individuals right away. While members of cross-functional teams will be learning from each other and expanding their skills and knowledge sets, the company will have the benefit of hybrid talent being supplied by the team as a whole.

Scrum Teams are “able to foster an environment of independent thinking and group decision-making in order to extract the most benefits from the structure,” according to the SBOK™ Guide. While Scrum is helping some employees become “security professionals with marketing skills,” Scrum Teams with both types of professionals provide that integration of skills and understanding immediately.

Accrediting organizations such as SCRUMstudy can put both companies and professionals in touch with professional training providers that specialize in Scrum and Agile.

As hybrid IT becomes an increasingly important part of hybrid cloud enterprises, companies using Scrum will soar.


[Jim Pruitt, VMEdu staff writer, contributed to this article]


Works Cited

A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK™ Guide).

Overby, Stephanie. (1/24/2014) “5 hybrid IT roles your business needs to succeed in 2014; Employers will aggressively pursue people with talent in several areas this year.” Computerworld. Retrieved on 1/27/2014 from

Thibodeau, Patrick. (1/21/2014) “5 reasons why your IT job search is getting harder.” Computerworld. Retrieved on 1/6/2016 from

Yu, Eileen. (5/11/2015) “What hybrid cloud? It’s hybrid IT.” ZDNET. Retrieved on 1/5/2016 from


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