While public cloud deployments often make the headlines, those companies considering a move away from an on premise strategy are more likely to move to a hybrid cloud strategy rather than a wholehearted public cloud approach. Hybrid cloud is widely becoming acknowledged as a sensible way to scale and optimise on-premises resources, while also capitalising on the efficiencies offered by the public cloud.
While growing in popularity, many firms still aren’t entirely clear on the hybrid cloud and what it can do.
So What is It?
A hybrid cloud approach is when private or public clouds (or a combination of both) are integrated with on-premises IT to be managed through a single platform. As cloud strategies mature, using a hybrid cloud approach is emerging as a popular choice that is driving business growth globally. According to Gartner, 72% of enterprises are expected to pursue a hybrid strategy (*1). Hybrid cloud solutions are making it easier to deploy new technologies like cognitive analytics, which are transforming businesses faster than ever before.
Hybrid cloud is an attractive option because of its flexibility. Companies can shift data, workloads and applications between environments with relative ease using a hybrid architecture built on a common database, at the same time fulfilling data privacy and security requirements.
Many organisations are already using hybrid cloud models to deploy large scale global applications such as CRM and HRM, and increasingly they are also taking advantage of the cloud to deploy their disaster recovery, development and analytics capabilities. Hybrid cloud can also help to deliver extra capacity during busy peak volume times within a business, leaving on premise systems free to handle the usual day-to day-activities.
Hybrid Cloud for Big Data Driven Marketing
Companies are always looking for ways to improve customer relationships and to use the volumes of big data to customise digital marketing efforts and drive big data driven marketing initiatives.
Current in-house IT infrastructure is often too slow to meet this demand, or simply not available. Beyond this, many companies are wary of new big data marketing programme requirements affecting existing production environments and interfering with day-to-day business.
When dealing with customer data, privacy is always a top concern and companies may have to adhere to strict rules surrounding the issue of where personal data can be stored. A hybrid cloud strategy may help this predicament, making it easier for companies to create cloud instances in specific countries to store designated information. It’s one of many examples demonstrating how quickly companies are innovating with the cloud to ensure it supports both capacity and security concerns.
Hybrid Cloud: Scaling up Aging IT to Meet Demand
One of the most common scenarios driving hybrid cloud strategy occurs in global enterprises which have legacy systems that are being pushed past capacity. Often, these are mature companies with in-house IT groups and data centres that are facing increasing demands to scale while also meeting aggressive cost-savings goals.
Many of these companies are looking to move their development and testing systems to hybrid cloud options environment while maintaining their in-house data centres to run specific functionality. In these instances, hybrid cloud approaches are helping many of them to nearly double development capability by drawing on increased available processing power when needed.
Filling the Gap: Hybrid Cloud as a Temporary Bridge
Numerous companies are working with hybrid cloud solutions to fill the gap as they negotiate full data centre rebuilds as demands on business-critical applications grow. Whereas a large hardware installation can take close to a year to become production ready, a cloud solution may be in production within weeks and cost a fraction of a full re-build.
These solutions are allowing companies to move workloads to the cloud, extending legacy infrastructures until they can be re-built, or until companies deploy more cloud computing power.
As cloud becomes a standard way of doing business, organisations are using it as a tool for innovation and growth. Those who successfully use the cloud to achieve growth will have a mature, strategic view of how best to implement and integrate it across their organisations.
All approaches to cloud have advantages. From the straightforward simplicity of public cloud services, versus the increased security and control of private clouds, there is a cloud environment to meet every organisation’s needs. What is clear is that businesses are increasingly looking to hybrid cloud strategies to drive competitive advantages, capitalising on hybrid cloud agility while lowering financial and time commitments.
When flexibility in deployment meets increased responsiveness and the ability to achieve high levels of data privacy, security and regulatory compliance, it’s no wonder we are seeing so many companies looking to hybrid cloud solutions.