How Hybrid Multicloud Unleashes Human and Business Potential

As businesses embrace more powerful IT technologies to stay competitive, Nutanix CIO Wendy M. Pfeiffer says it’s time to harness hybrid cloud technologies that can be controlled from any computer from almost anywhere.

By Ken Kaplan

By Ken Kaplan December 7, 2021

When anything is possible, resource constraints disappear and people make decisions differently. Complexity fades away and mundane tasks get replaced by strategic actions that benefit customers and grow the business. This is the new mindset IT leaders are using as they build their company’s future on hybrid cloud technologies, according to Wendy M. Pfeiffer, CIO at Nutanix.

“Just think of what you'll do now that you have the flexibility and capacity to create whatever you imagine,” said Pfeiffer in a video produced by Freethink for Nutanix.

For the past three years, she’s seen an increasing desire for hybrid cloud IT operation, which combines a private cloud with one or more public cloud services. There’s a growing hunger for business application and data mobility – the ability to move services back and forth as needed – between owned and rented cloud computing resources.

“IT professionals around the world are looking for solutions to build robust hybrid cloud infrastructure,” Pfeiffer said. “We know because we asked.”

Investing in the Cloud’s Potential

For several years, Pfeiffer has been involved with Nutanix's Enterprise Cloud Index, which surveys thousands of IT decision-makers worldwide. It has shown that IT leaders overwhelmingly desire hybrid cloud ecosystems to power their business.


Hybrid cloud allows IT leaders to perform single tasks while leveraging two separate cloud resources. A hybrid cloud ecosystem provides increased business agility to support new applications, accommodate development, and quickly address unanticipated needs. Workloads can easily be moved between on-premise and cloud locations, leveraging resources from multiple locations.

It’s no wonder that eighty-six percent of respondents in 2020 consider hybrid their ideal operating model. Ninety-two percent of respondents who currently run on-premises infrastructure have deployed or plan to deploy hyperconverged infrastructure, which means they have a foundation for running hybrid cloud operations.

About 12% of enterprises across the world currently use a hybrid cloud architecture exclusively for their IT deployments, as per the Enterprise Cloud Index report. That said, enterprises have consistently indicated that the flexibility to choose the best infrastructure for changing workload requirements is vital to their adaptability, and ultimately, their growth.

“So what if you had that same capability and optionality across your entire ecosystem, both on-premise and in public cloud, managed from anywhere via a simple and extensible interface?” she asked. “It's happening now across industries.”


The CIO Who Drinks Her Own Champagne

She knows that a company's data center is a massive investment of time and money and personnel. She said for CIOs, it’s incredibly complex and challenging to make their IT operations both adaptive and resilient.

However, she admits this is a challenge they embrace because they want their company to thrive through digital transformation.

Teams are embracing hybrid multicloud solutions that enable IT management from a single interface with lower operational costs, improved performance, and better data governance. Hyperconverged infrastructure has modernized data centers to become sources of revenue, innovation and business value.

The Flexibility of a Modernized IT Infrastructure

Pfeiffer is known as the CIO who helps companies leverage their own technologies and services – or drink their own champagne, as she describes it.

Nutanix hired her to lead a massive IT shift from a patchwork of technologies to a converged ecosystem that runs on Nutanix software. She made sure the company that pioneered hyperconverged infrastructure, the free hypervisor for virtualization and other “cloudifying” capabilities ran on those technologies.


How a Billion-Dollar Business Moved to Hybrid, Multi-Cloud IT

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced office closings, she saw first-hand how a modernized IT operation that relies on automation empowered her IT team to manage everything remotely

Relying on a software-defined hybrid cloud system unchained her team from managing the tech so they could focus on customers...and family needs.


In Times of Panic, IT Preparation Pays Off

“Imagine using your iPhone to deploy a critical system while homeschooling the twins,” she said. “That's not a fantasy. It’s happening right now.” 

It happens when IT teams bring together all of their applications, services and clouds into a single ecosystem.

“It's possible to run the most powerful hybrid cloud in the world and access it remotely from any computer, even your 6-year-old laptop,” she said. “When you can reliably use code to scale your critical business services, add more compute or storage resources, update security policies, change cloud consumption models and retrieve disaster recovery data, complexity fades away.”

Pfeiffer sees hybrid cloud technologies as liberating and essential in a world where innovation disrupts and reshapes how businesses move into the future. 

“The resources you unleash can be used to strengthen and grow the heart of your company, to innovate and build, to run an airline or a world-class hospital, to invent and deliver life-saving technologies.”

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of the original article published December 17, 2020.

Ken Kaplan is Editor in Chief for The Forecast by Nutanix. Find him on Twitter @kenekaplan.

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