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We’re having a little fun kicking off a campaign this week in partnership with The Onion, but we have a serious point behind the antics. Your business is trying to do big things, and do them in a hurry, and sometimes business leaders don’t view IT as the strategic partner to get them to their destination.

We believe by embracing the hybrid cloud, we can change that relationship, to make IT the “it” crowd, the people who really make things happen. That’s because a hybrid cloud strategy gives IT all the freedom of the public cloud with the manageability and security you expect from your existing data center or private cloud. It can make you seem like a miracle worker.

The fact is there’s a lot of value in a well-run enterprise data center.  Despite the fact it can take a degree in archeology to manage these existing environments, “keeping the lights on” is an essential function the enterprise data center does well. It’s tremendously reliable, provides predictable performance and often can be a better choice for compliance and overall business strategy than putting corporate data in the hands of someone else.

Yet there’s a good reason for the growth of cloud computing.  Seizing new business opportunities and responding to unexpected challenges is often better achieved by leveraging extreme flexibility of the public cloud. It’s why the public cloud is expected to hold 70-80 percent of cloud workloads this year, according to Gartner.

As a result, we believe we’re in the midst of a broader shift in the role of IT. We’re shifting from “keeping the lights on” – installing and managing servers, storage and networks – to using a hybrid model to enable IT to become a broker of cloud services, with responsibility for governance across public and private spheres, on-premise and off. The technology now exists to bridge these two worlds seamlessly.

Quite frankly, we believe 2014 will be the year most IT organizations get serious about hybrid cloud as an agility driver for the business. Today, most IT leaders recognize how transformative cloud computing can be, but haven’t defined a cloud strategy that’s right for them. We can help.

Watch www.becometheITdepartment.com over the next month for insights and research on the move to hybrid cloud.