Cloud services provider (CSP) and OpenStack proponent Rackspace (RAX) offered its vision of the next generation IT department at last week's 12th International Cloud Expo in New York, pushing collaboration, innovation and hybrid cloud to attendees.

Rackspace Architecture and Strategy Enterprise Cloud Cloud Solutions Manager Brian Jawalka took center stage on Wednesday and noted a slight correction on his slide by stating that the next generation IT department must not only have cloud, but hybrid cloud -- a familiar Rackspace initiative to anybody following Talkin Cloud's coverage of the company.

But besides promoting hybrid cloud, Jawalka suggested re-arranging the fundamental building blocks of IT services to fit customer demand, pointing to a world of bring your own (BYOD) as an example.

Users want to be able to leverage their Apple (AAPL) iPhone or their Google (GOOG) Android device, not a company-owned phone with fewer features, he said. Employees demand access and control to feel empowered.

Solve Noncompliance by Saying Yes

Jawalka reminded the audience that users view IT departments as the "no people" instead of the "yes people." Not only is this bad branding for an IT department, but it leaves organiations vulnerable to advanced security breaches.

"We don't want to sound like a roadblock," he emphasized. "We don't want users to go around us. People go around us when they’re not happy."

Consumer-based apps aren't good for organizations, he said. Instead of getting to the point where users are leveraging consumer-based apps for work-related purposes, offer a cloud solution of your own, so you can control.

Collaboration and Innovation, Not Operation

"New IT department needs to be flexible, fast, and nimble," Jawalka read off the slide.

If you can't help an end user, find a partner that can, otherwise they will go around you to get what they want and need. There's no need to recreate the wheel.

He said IT departments should leverage DevOps and break down the physical wall between developers and operations, using Rackspace as prime example. Both teams need to collaborate.

"Don't throw it over the fence and assume it's going to work," he said.

Innovation is the result of collaboration. A single type of cloud environment will not solve all of our problems. Offer a strategy that includes various platforms, he said.

Harness the Power of Hybrid Cloud

Jawalka pointed to the hybrid cloud as a multi-cloud strategy for IT departments, which includes public, private and dedicated servers.

"We’re building our hybrid cloud strategy," he said. "Picking the right platform is the hardest decision of all, in my opinion." He said that IT departments should always ask the right questions before selecting a cloud platform. What am I going to keep in my data center? Will I use a service provider? What will I do will legacy apps? How do we mix applications?

He concluded: It’s about picking the right platform at the right moment and a transformation strategy.

Rackspace recently added the Brocade (BRCD) Vyatta vRouter solution to its expanding portfolio of networking and security solutions for the Rackspace Hybrid Cloud.