In this modern world, organisations are facing great pressure to adapt rapidly and innovate to keep up with their competitors. Businesses are being forced to move faster and faster, with the only constant being change: changing infrastructure, changing strategies and changing technologies. Transforming to a ‘digital business’ by implementing cloud services and platforms is no longer an option but an absolute necessity, failure to do so will lead to an organisation’s failure.
It is clear that cloud has become a key enabler for strategic success—but not everyone’s cloud journey looks the same. Different businesses have different ambitions, and their journeys are rarely as straightforward as just deploying servers and virtual machines into the cloud. It can be difficult for a number of reasons, including the choices of platforms and decisions over where the data should sit.
One option organisations should look at is the hybrid-cloud model and Gartner experts have stated that by 2020, 90% of organizations will have adopted some type of hybrid cloud. It is therefore important to understand what it is and how enterprises benefit from the hybrid cloud.
What is hybrid cloud?
Forrester research describes hybrid cloud as: “one or more public clouds connected to something in my data center. That thing could be a private cloud; that thing could just be traditional data center infrastructure.” To put it simply, a hybrid cloud is a mash-up of on-premises and off-premises IT resources.
To expand on that, hybrid cloud is a cloud-computing environment that connects a mix of public cloud, private cloud and on-premises infrastructure. A key advantage to this model is that it allows workloads and data to travel between private and public clouds as demands and costs change, providing businesses with the flexibility they need.
There is not a single hybrid cloud model that works for every organisation and every model should fit the unique needs of each company. By allowing multiple deployment models in a hybrid cloud, organisations are able to benefit from a seamless and secure environment which enables productivity and flexibility.
Why choose hybrid cloud?
It is not usually feasible for businesses to go all in and move completely into the cloud straight away, unless they happen to be cloud-native organisations. That doesn’t mean that enterprises with legacy systems have been unable to make any headway with the cloud. To get around this, they can try a mixture of public and private clouds, and combine this with hosted, colocated and on-premise infrastructure where necessary.
Hybrid cloud allows organisations to experience the advantages of both types of cloud. By spreading computational data across both resources, it is possible to optimise the environment whilst keeping everyday functions as streamlined as possible. Enterprises can make their own minds up on which type of data should be stored in a public cloud, whilst keeping any sensitive data in the private cloud. This is granting them the key element that they need: control. Access to the benefits of private and public clouds is perfect for organisations wanting to grow at the speed they need.
Hybrid solutions grant business the key element that they need: control. Control to optimise their IT investment by selecting the best-fit infrastructure for different categories of workload. Control to choose where their most critical data should reside. Control to spread their workloads across multiple platforms to avoid the risk of vendor lock in from a single platform strategy.
Hybrid cloud is set to evolve in the years to come, with technology playing a key role in this. We will see the incorporation of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence into cloud platforms and this will impact the way the cloud environment is managed and maintained.
Organisations need to understand that before choosing a hybrid cloud model, it needs to understand exactly why it is doing so, the impact it will have upon the business and how it will carry out the transformation. Moving to the cloud is not just a technology upgrade, but a complete change of mindset that effects the entire business: from technology and process, to employees and skills. It is vital to choose the right partner to help navigate this journey and ensure cloud investment enables organisations to achieve their objectives.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.