For companies that acknowledge the value of the cloud, but aren’t ready to fully commit to a public or private cloud deployment, the hybrid cloud model is an attractive option.

An organization must first decide what mix of environments will make up their hybrid cloud deployment, and whether they want to buy a pre-built solution or build their own custom hybrid cloud. Pre-built systems are easier to implement, and offer a faster time to value, but custom builds can offer more functionality.

SEE: Hybrid cloud: The smart person’s guide

However, there are a host of other decisions and scenarios that can derail a hybrid cloud deployment. At the 2017 Dell EMC World conference on Monday, Dell EMC’s Heath Reynolds and Brian Ragazzi hosted a breakout session looking at some of the common challenges that organizations face in a hybrid cloud deployment and how they can avoid them.

Here are three best practices that businesses should adhere to when building out a hybrid cloud deployment:

1. Start small

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when starting out in hybrid cloud is that they try to “boil the ocean” on their first attempt, Reynolds said. Instead, Reynolds recommends starting small. Establish a minimum viable product (MVP) for your business’s hybrid cloud to start out with. Then, iterate on that cloud over time to add features and functions that drive business value.

2. Keep it simple

Another piece of wisdom offered by Reynolds in the session was “only code when cornered.” Reynolds said that businesses should focus on using modular add-ons and integrations, in order to limit the custom code that is written. Instead, organizations should focus on only using their resources where they can add business agility or additional value.

Additionally, a business should seek to develop software that creates differentiated value for their hybrid cloud deployment. This can help companies stay away from “snowflake” custom cloud configurations, which can add complexity.

3. Automate everything

Automation can be a critical part of a hybrid cloud strategy. However, successful cloud automation requires automation at all levels of the platform. The value of cloud-based services like disaster recovery is increased by making them automated, leaving fewer tasks to the human IT workers involved in the deployment.