In the not-too-distant past, many firms proudly promoted their “cloud first” strategies. By moving infrastructure and applications to the cloud, these adventurous organisations hoped to increase operational flexibility (and reduce costs). Over time it has become apparent that some workloads are not currently suited to hosted platforms. Anything that is time sensitive (IoT and real time analytics) or exceptionally sensitive (personally identifiable information, intellectual property) may be more effective in the on-premise data centre. The hybrid cloud developed as a natural response to these different workloads – and has gone on to become the new norm for most organisations. This change in strategy is not necessarily a bad thing – there are definite benefits to the hybrid operating model according to research from the Aberdeen Group.
Improved application performance
Speed of IT is closely associated with speed of business, so any gain is important. 50% of hybrid cloud adopters report improved application performance.
Increased IT infrastructure agility
The ability to change operations and processes quickly is vital to competing with disruptive start-ups and shifting customer preferences. 43% of hybrid cloud users believe they have a data platform capable of supporting that change.
Genuine cost savings
Early cloud platforms promised enormous financial savings – but only if applications were re-engineered around the pay-as-you-use business model. By retaining control of some apps and data in house, 38% of hybrid cloud using companies have achieved an overall reduction of IT expenses.
Improved system reliability
In most cases, data availability is as important as speed. By moving to enterprise-class hybrid cloud platforms operated by data centre experts, adopters can reduce at least some of their on-premise footprint. The fewer “moving parts” they operate, the lower the risk of outage – as confirmed by 35% of users.
Building for the future
Once they have established some of their operations in the cloud, hybrid users have the option of increasing capacity and resources as and when required. And as other applications become cloud-enabled, they can migrate more of their workload off-site to compound the benefits and gains listed here.
Hybrid cloud doesn’t “just happen” though. You will need a proper cloud strategy, one that assesses current workload and identifies which assets are suitable for hosting in the cloud. Systems that remain on site will need at least some degree of reconfiguration for optimal performance and compatibility.
With the right technology platform and cloud partner, you can define a roadmap that offers maximum flexibility moving forwards. In return you can expect to reduce operating risk and increased control of your entire IT estate.
If you would like to learn more about hybrid cloud and exactly what it means for your business, please give us a call.