Contributor: Kim Gajda, via Thoughts On Cloud

With the evolution of the cloud, startups seem to have it easy. They come up with an idea, implement it on the cloud, and deploy continuously right away.

For companies that have developed software for years, either for internal use or to sell, things are more complicated. Those companies invested in their applications and will use them as long as they provide needed function.

Consider the anonymized company “GroceryX.” For years, it had a rewards program. At first, the program ran in the company’s enterprise and gathered data from customers, including demographic data, buying habits, and purchase data. GroceryX used that data to send offers to the customers in the rewards program. Now, the company has a new idea. Through a mobile app, it will provide customers with tailored content that is based on the data from its corporate database. To make that idea a reality, GroceryX needs hybrid cloud.

Hybrid cloud and multi-speed IT

A hybrid cloud application is a complex enterprise application that spans both cloud-based systems of engagement and systems of record, such as mainframe-based transactional systems or traditional applications that are hosted on data centers.

To develop the mobile rewards program app, GroceryX forms a new team that acts like a startup and develops on the cloud. The company also picks the cloud platform where it will develop the mobile app and design an excellent mobile customer experience. One need still exists, though: The app must pull data from the traditional customer data application.

The customer data application team has existed for years, and it releases updates as new function is needed. That team and the new team deliver on different schedules, a concept known as multi-speed IT. Developing hybrid cloud applications requires tracking technical dependencies across multiple teams, developing robust APIs, and ensuring that teams work together toward a common goal.

What happens next?

To learn more about how GroceryX developed its hybrid cloud application, check out the Enabling hybrid cloud apps and multi-speed IT track on the IBM Bluemix Garage Method website.

A version of this article originally appeared on the developerWorks blog.

Flagship can enable you to develop hybrid cloud applications that make a difference for your business. Schedule a consultation to learn more.

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