Global research and advisory firm Gartner projects that through 2022, enterprise IT spending for cloud-based offerings will grow faster than traditional (non-cloud) IT offerings. Cloud shift across key enterprise IT markets is expected to increase to 28% by 2022, up from just 19% in 2018.
The past decade has witnessed widespread adoption of cloud-based applications and services. According to Santosh Rao, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, organizations who don’t adopt a cloud-first strategy are likely to fall behind their competitors. Reports also validate that while cloud technologies are fast becoming mainstream options in the IT world, hybrid solutions will be the key to survival in today’s ever-changing business environment.
In recent years, there has been considerable debate on the viability of cloud. Although global enterprises have already ventured into the cloud computing territory, a majority of them still lack a strong vision. That’s because most organizations are yet to reach a point where around 30% of their workload is carried in the cloud. Given the challenges of initial migration, companies are now taking a hybrid approach to cloud computing.
A hybrid cloud strategy incorporates the benefits of both public and on-premise cloud computing services, providing a ‘failsafe’ model to enterprises. Hybrid IT, which offers the best of both worlds, has become the new standard for modern IT environments. From the cost optimization and scalability of the public cloud to the security and reliability of the private cloud, enterprises can avail the maximum benefits while minimizing the risk factor.
Top three benefits of adopting a hybrid cloud system
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- Added security
- Security has always been a major concern for businesses shifting to the cloud, and for the right reasons. Keeping all IT resources in a public cloud is not only risky but also prevents IT enterprises to have full control over their data. With a hybrid cloud, organizations can decide which applications or services can remain in the public cloud and which should be private. The combination of public and private further ensures that companies are not overburdening their private, more secure cloud space.
- Enhanced flexibility
- With a hybrid approach, organizations can manage their databases and services in a more efficient manner. The private cloud can serve as a hosting environment for sensitive data, whereas the public cloud space can be used for scalability. Enterprises usually test the feasibility of their new applications on public clouds as it is cost-effective. In other words, a hybrid cloud enables enterprises to combine the security of a private cloud with the scalability of a public cloud to meet their specific requirements.
- Reduced costs
- Organizations that deploy a hybrid model have a lower TCO (total cost of ownership) than their counterparts that operate in an all-cloud environment. A hybrid cloud interface eliminates the need for massive infrastructural requirements as it is based on a pay-as-you-need model. With the backup of numerous public cloud services, enterprises only pay for resources that they will use. Services like AWS and Azure, for instance, are designed to offer the flexibility to manage costs without comprising on the quality of services.
Tackling the challenges of hybrid cloud adoption
While cloud adoption has increased significantly over the last decade, numerous organizations are yet are join the cloud. But, it’s not that surprising. Even after taking factors like convenience and affordability into consideration, the migration process poses a multitude of challenges, including security, skills gap, lag time and budget constraints.
Maintaining security is one of the first issues enterprises have to deal with while deploying a hybrid cloud adoption. It’s crucial to ensure that safety protocols and regulations are met during as well as the post-transition period. Safeguarding the integrity of data, therefore, calls for a multi-faced approach to security – securing the on-premises data centre resources, applications in the public cloud and the data stored in multiple cloud providers.
Another major challenge that companies face is the gap in skills required to handle cloud-based software. Non-IT workers, in particular, aren’t well acquainted with cloud security concepts, auto-scaling techniques and virtualization tools. However, this can be easily solved through reskilling and upskilling programmes of employees. Roping in an expert consultancy can also prove to be handy.
The large volume of data generated today has made cloud adoption necessary. Now, merging public and private cloud may seem complicated, but it is the way to go. A hybrid could model, as mentioned earlier, provides a safe middle ground. This enables enterprises to take a dynamic yet value-driven approach to leverage the advantages of the cloud. The idea is that public cloud and on-premises private cloud are not mutually exclusive, but complementary. The hybrid IT trend is here and it’s about CIOs embrace this change.