The path to hybrid cloud can be paved by a series of accidental steps.

As Red Hat technology evangelist Gordon Haff recently noted: “Many organizations fall into hybrid cloud through some combination of acquisitions, lack of coordination among lines of business, or just a lot of ad hoc actions taken on a project-by-project basis.”

In many cases, that less-intentional adoption of hybrid cloud is driven by various pressures to move certain applications to a public cloud, and quickly.

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The first essential in any hybrid cloud strategy is having a strategy in the first place.

“Data center hardware refreshes, the need to modernize legacy applications, and more recently spikes in demand caused by COVID can all drive the decision to build out public cloud consumption,” says Mark Jamensky, VP of products for cloud management at Snow. “What I have found interesting, however, is the change in mindset from pure public cloud to hybrid cloud.”

That shift in mindset reflects a more intentional approach to hybrid cloud use. As Haff says, the first essential in any hybrid cloud strategy is having a strategy in the first place. 

Hybrid cloud examples: Three use cases

As IT leaders and their teams more consciously build out their hybrid cloud strategies, here are three overlapping use cases that those strategies reflect.

1. Going cloud-smart rather than cloud-first

The phrase “cloud first” became a widely used term for describing IT strategies that prioritized moving as many