To drive business agility and accelerate IT transformation, an integrated hybrid multicloud and AI strategy is key.

IT transformation is the basis of competitive advantage for modern enterprises. Your IT infrastructure determines how quickly you can respond to new market opportunities, how fast you scale, and how well you can serve your customers.

As the digital economy continues to rapidly expand and evolve, organizations must be able to match its pace. Cloud computing has proven to be instrumental in powering digital transformation that is crucial to achieving true business agility, and hybrid multicloud—the next generation of cloud—is the most flexible and effective IT architecture for innovation. Twenty-one percent of the world’s enterprises have already implemented hybrid multicloud to varying degrees (IDC’s Cloud Pulse, 1Q20), and this number will continue to increase drastically.


Hybrid multicloud and AI

While hybrid multicloud helps modernize your IT environment, adding artificial intelligence (AI) can improve the way people work, change how enterprises operate, and even transform entire industries. AI provides capabilities that not only offer cost savings, but also drastically improve business outcomes. It can help organizations automate critical processes, predict and form outcomes at both the macro and micro levels, allow employees to engage in higher-value, more meaningful work, and ultimately optimize and streamline operations.

Hybrid multicloud platforms minimize data siloes and bring together disparate data across environments, creating a unified data architecture needed for AI deployment. Hybrid multicloud also accelerates the development and deployment of AI at scale, and, in turn, AI simplifies and automates the management of hybrid multicloud.

These two technologies are driving IT transformation, and their combined effect can amplify business outcomes. Enterprises need to adopt a holistic hybrid multicloud and AI strategy to produce robust results.


10 steps to consider when creating your cloud and AI strategy

  1. Create AI strategy, data strategy, and infrastructure strategy that are aligned with each other and overall business objectives.
  2. Make sure that all line-of-business executives understand the concepts and urgency of digital transformation and AI.
  3. Let each line of business brainstorm and present its innovative ideas on leveraging AI.
  4. Bring in the CTO, CFO, and their teams to study the feasibility of the ideas from the perspectives of technology and investment/budget.
  5. Evaluate your organization regarding your information architecture.
  6. Design a multipronged strategy for your hybrid multicloud.
  7. Identify cloud platforms with embedded AI capabilities.
  8. Investigate commercial software, open source solutions, and AI-as-a-Service that can accelerate your AI journey.
  9. Establish a staffing and training plan for your AI and hybrid multicloud teams.
  10. Start with proof-of-concept projects that are low-risk but visible enough to the organization to ensure success, awareness, and future funding.

An AI-powered organization primed for digital transformation can only be achieved through strategic planning and consistent execution. Approaching hybrid multicloud and AI together in a holistic and unified strategy is necessary for enterprises to unlock business agility and realize long-term value.

This feature originally appeared in IBM Cloud.

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