Hybrid IT, or augmenting your existing IT resources with third party service providers, isn’t a brand new approach, but it is gaining ground with small and mid-sized businesses, where leaders are realizing the financial benefits of the flexibility, agility, and resilience that Hybrid IT provides.

This kind of vendor relationship isn’t a new concept for many departments that outsource specific functions like payroll, CPA, HR, or Manufacturing. Much like managing capacity in these specific service areas, Hybrid IT moves IT forward, while executing IT strategy with the best tools for the job, whether internal or external.

One thing we know for sure is IT will continue to evolve at a rapid rate, often beyond the capacity of SMBs to stay ahead of the curve with ongoing maintenance and management tasks, and Hybrid IT is the best of both worlds for business leaders.

Here are a few ways Hybrid IT is currently impacting small and midsize businesses.

Reason #1: The Consumerization of IT.

Let’s face it, our end-user’s expectations continue to climb. As public cloud and IT related tools continue to saturate our “personal” IT space, the bar has been raised on internal IT departments. Often times, this is creating “shadow IT” and huge security gaps in corporate IT governance.

Smartphones, Alexa, Siri, Dropbox, Artificial Intelligence, and other “personal” IT tools will continue to put pressure on internal IT departments to evolve. I’m sure no IT person reading this will disagree this is not only impacting the perception of how “easy” IT tasks are (or should be), but the speed and expectation of resolution only continue to accelerate.

The consumerization of IT will continue to put pressure on business’s internal IT staff to evaluate their current support models. Hybrid IT services add value to IT departments to get laser focused on where the internal IT team can provide value to the “bottom line.”

Reason #2:  The Rise of the Business IT Specialist.

Many CXO’s are starting to see the added benefit of leveraging Hybrid IT configurations to get their internal IT focused on “profit center” tasks vs. “cost center” tasks. You can see this with the proliferation of IT staff focused on data mining, analytics, data scientists, and workflow specialists to drive more value.

Getting out of the hardware game has and will continue to get the IT department more focused on business success tasks in small to midsized companies.

Internal business IT specialists are critical and can be maximized leveraging Hybrid IT. Reducing the distractions on the internal IT staff to focus on more valuable business facing tasks will continue to add overall value of IT to business stakeholders.

Reason #3: IT As A Service Gives IT More Control, Not Less.

IT Departments have historically been wary of giving up control to external vendors for key pieces of Infrastructure, Platform Management, and Support. The best CIO’s and IT Directors look at Hybrid IT as a tool to gain more control over their strategy, not less with more reporting, more metrics, more information at your fingertips than many Executives had before on how their IT is performing for them.

Control starts with a key understanding of how your business makes money, and what IT functions directly support the success of the business. In many cases, managing the underlying infrastructure, networks, and security for small to mid-size businesses is more scalable leveraging a Hybrid IT model. Great IT leaders understand this dynamic, and are re-tooling to add best of breed services for everything from Cloud Management, On-Premise Virtualization Management, and Security and Network Operations Management.

Control comes with aligning IT objectives with the business, not specifically what your IT staff directly controls or manages on a daily basis.

Reason #4: Pay as You Go and Metered Cost Models.

Calculating the cost of IT even five years ago was a real challenge. With Hybrid IT you can get down to the exact “per seat” cost of an employee. From Infrastructure to support, Pay as You Go and Per Seat cost models give CFOs and stakeholders more visibility into the value they are getting from their IT.

If the business needs to expand, you pay for the expansion of resources. If you need to reduce resources, you can realize the savings instantly. Operating vs. Capital models help the business control costs appropriate to the business drivers at hand.

Hybrid IT allows for cost controls that historically could not be realized. The “build it and they will come” model is history. Welcome to Hybrid IT!

Reason #5: Speed.

With the tools evolving in both private and public clouds, speed to implementation has been increased significantly.

Hybrid IT and cloud automation allows business units to deploy servers for testing or other applications on scale instantly. With Hybrid IT, the organization’s IT department can develop a controls framework that can be rapidly deployed by a third party vendor.

Hybrid IT gives internal IT staff the tools they need to move quickly, while they remain focused on the bigger picture, aligning department tasks with business goals, and having vendors, partners, and tools to move at the speed of business.