Tales of Pushback in a Hybrid Environment


I’ve attempted to locate a manager or company willing to commit to the pretense of corporate pushback against a hybrid mentality. I’ve had many conversations with customers who’ve had this struggle within their organizations, but few willing to go on record.

As a result, I’m going to relate a couple of personal experiences, but I’m not going to be able to commit customer references to this.

Let’s start with an organization I’ve worked with a lot lately. They have a lot of data of an unstructured type, and our goal was to arrive at an inexpensive “SMB 3.0+” storage format that would satisfy this need. We recommended a number of cloud providers, both hybrid and public, to help them out. The pushback came from their security team, who’d decided that compliance issues were a barrier to going hybrid. Obviously, most compliance issues have been addressed. In the case of this company, we, as a consultative organization, were able to make a good case for both the storage of the data, the costs, and an object-based model for access from their disparate domains. As it turned out, this particular customer chose a solution that placed a compliant piece of storage on-premises that could satisfy its needs, but as a result of the research we’d submitted for them, their security team agreed to be more open in the future to these types of solutions.

Another customer had a desire to launch a new MRP application and was evaluating hosting the application in a hybrid mode. In this case, the customer had a particular issue with relying on the application being hosted entirely offsite. As a result, we architected a solution wherein the off-prem components were designed to augment the physical/virtual architecture built for them onsite. This was a robust solution that ensured a guarantee of uptime for the environment with a highly available approach toward application uptime and failover. In this case, just what the customer had requested. The pushback in this solution wasn’t one of compliance because the hosted portion of the application would lean on our highly available and compliant data center for hosting. They objected to the cost, which seemed to us to be a reversal of their original mandate. We’d provided a solution based on their requests, but they changed that request drastically. In their ultimate approach, they chose to host the entire application suite in a hosted environment. Their choice to move toward a cloudy environment for the application, in this case, was an objection to the costs of their original desired approach.

Most of these objections were real-world, and decisions that our customers had sought. They’d faced issues they had not been entirely sure were achievable. In these cases, pushback came in the form of either security or cost concerns. I hoped we had delivered solutions that met their objections and helped the customers achieve their goals.

It’s clear that the pushback we’d received was due to known or unknown real-world issues facing their business. In the case of the first customer, we’d been engaged to solve their issues regardless of objections, and we found them a storage solution that gave them the best on-premises solution for them. But in the latter, by promoting a solution that was geared toward satisfying all they’d requested, we were bypassed in favor of a lesser solution provided by the application vendor. You truly win some and lose some.

​Have you experienced pushback in similar situations? I'd love to hear all about it.

  • We mostly host everything on our private VMware / NSX cloud.  We do have an AWS cloud too that's been moving forward although much much smaller.

  • Our management has been arguing that we are not in the cloud. I pointed out multiple applications that we are using that are hosted out in the cloud and they basically said well those don't count.

    So then I asked them where our Electronic Medical Record system is. (Correct answer is that it is hosted by our minority partner 250 miles away). They said our partner. I said correct, not in our data center, but the data center of our partner. That is in the cloud.

    They looked at me like a confused dog. They didn't understand that basically if you do not have it in your data centers on your prem, then it is basically in the cloud.

    We have frequent issues with our EMR access. Almost on a weekly basis something our partner does messes up our access to it in some way or another. The sad thing is they don't behave like a vendor even though they are our EMR vendor.

    The real problem is we are locked in with them because they are a minority partner, so we can just up and move to another vendor for our EMR system. No matter how bad the support gets we are stuck.

  • I still see control, or lack thereof, as a strong driving factor for not relinquishing to The Cloud. I worked for a top tier Managed Services provider for 10 years. We were good! And we did "it" better, when you consider from a facility on up, than just about all of our clients. Yet when things went bump in the night it was the client's anxiety over not being in control their own landscape that soured any relationship.

  • I completely agree. Any system in use should be valid for evaluation. The truth, though, is that most IT organizations are so overwhelmed with new projects that the sheer requirements for evaluating an old one are more often than not too daunting to undertake.