Hybrid cloud computing combines the abilities of public and, private cloud with traditional IT services to form effective business strategies. Improving the way they deliver new applications and products
In this fast-paced world with increased customer demands, and cutting edge competition, it is imperative to have a business model and infrastructure that supports faster deployments, improved performance, and affordable solutions. Hybrid cloud offers this.
What is a Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud is an enterprise IT environment where an organisation can selectively mix and match private and public cloud infrastructure by allowing data and applications to be shared between them. This enables them to combine the online capabilities of a public cloud with the on-premises security of a private cloud.
Hybrid cloud computing allows enterprises to quickly scale their on-premises infrastructure up to the public cloud for handling any overflow when computing and processing demand fluctuates. Infrastructure management simpler as it enables enterprises to choose the best IT infrastructure to meet specific business needs, along with the flexibility to seamlessly collaborate.
The demand for hybrid cloud technology in enterprises is increasing the world over
- In a survey of around 1,000 tech executives and cloud practitioners, over 80 per cent of companies were using multi-cloud strategy, commonly including a hybrid cloud model consisting of both private and public clouds.
- 83 per cent of the workload is virtualised today (IDC), 60 per cent of large enterprises run virtual machines ( VMs) in the public cloud, and 65 per cent of organisations use a hybrid cloud strategy.
- Cloud apps can help companies in collaborative tasks, file sharing, content sharing, data analytics and data security. According to skyhigh, an average employee uses 36 cloud-based services in a day.
- A 2019 State of the Cloud report found that companies are increasingly adopting a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy, and 84 per cent of the surveyed enterprises describe their IT infrastructure as “multi-cloud.”
Agility as a Competitive Advantage
Increasing need for higher business agility is one of the key drivers in the growing interest in hybrid cloud services. Business agility means the ability to respond quickly to opportunities or risks. And companies can innovate and adapt to a modern IT architecture that uses cloud technology, compared to traditional architectures used for storing and accessing data.
Cloud solutions can open new pathways to cloud-mediated marketing innovation. For example, a sports shoe company which used to sell its sneakers through retailers had little knowledge of who bought them, how they were used, how the customers got to know about their brand or how many customers were retained.
Today, that company can sell their sneakers smartly” using hybrid cloud services that enable it to collect customer information and activity on an ongoing basis, aggregate and analyse it in the cloud, and develop a deep relationship with the customer.
Cloud computing can prompt business model transformations leading to effective marketing, higher sales with an increased retention rate of existing customers. A brand can use cloud services to create personalised recommendations for customers, which can significantly improve brand visibility and give users a complete customer experience.
When companies are offering superior products at competitive prices, brand loyalty is a myth. One of the key differentiators for any organisation can be customer experience – how they treat their customers, how much value is provided to them, how quickly the problems are addressed, the credibility and reliability of the brand. By ensuring great customer experience and providing valuable information to the customers, organisations can have an edge over others.
Faster Speed to Market
An important factor that decides a company’s sales and customer retention rate is how quickly they deploy new and better infrastructure. Once a hybrid cloud is set up, access to cloud resources is automated and instantaneous. This means that new products can be deployed and marketed to target customers in a relatively shorter period as compared to traditional platforms.
Key business decisions and marketing strategies require real-time data from multiple sources and different systems. To fulfil these real-time needs, enterprises require computing services along with storage as per their needs, which can be done via using hybrid cloud computing infrastructure.
Start with your data. Analyse how you want to control it and combine it with other datasets to select a range of people based on certain factors such as interests, demographics, age, gender, preferences, etc. You may also have massive historical datasets that you want to analyse and use in predictive analysis.
Continuously storing and moving data out of the public cloud can be expensive. A more efficient and affordable option to quickly access data is to have the bulk of your data sets stored in a highly scalable, low-cost object-based system using hybrid cloud analytics workflow.
Flexibility and Scalability
While data can be easily accessed from anywhere in a public cloud, a private cloud, on the other hand, facilitates hosting security compliant applications with sensitive data. This ensures flexibility for enterprises who are looking for both security and mobility.
The hybrid cloud approach ensures portability – applications and data can be moved across clouds or your data centre without causing any disruption to employees or customers with minimum downtime. The ease of mobility between the public and private cloud is what makes hybrid cloud infrastructure preferable for enterprises.
The hybrid model is also able to offer increased scalability of environments for specific workloads. It allows enterprises to scale up and down as per their business requirements without hampering their current network system or datasets. They can add new software, hardware and services whenever needed.
One of the major challenges faced by enterprises in cloud solutions is increasing security risks with network loopholes that offer unauthorised access to the infrastructure of an organisation. There might be certain applications or sensitive data that require a higher level of security.
As compared to the implementation of a 100 per cent public cloud infrastructure, hybrid cloud can increase security by allowing you to selectively keep sensitive data on dedicated infrastructure with the on-premise security capabilities of private cloud infrastructure. Hybrid cloud also enables increased network security, especially with direct connect via private. It helps enterprises leverage the high performance of the cloud, along with ensuring an agile and secure environment.
Strategic Benefits of Cloud Adoption
A hybrid approach allows enterprises to take advantage of all the flexibility, scalability and agility of the cloud without mass migrations or compromising on data security.
- Workloads – An organisation can quickly expand web and application servers during the holiday season to the public cloud without actually needing to acquire new hardware and then scale it back easily.
- Ease of Use – For deploying faster solutions, a development team can use a hybrid cloud approach that will enable them to spin up a whole infrastructure with ease and turn it down once they are done.
- Storage – Hybrid cloud infrastructure provides the best of both- public and private cloud infrastructure. Sensitive data, including legality information and confidential documents that might need to be stored indefinitely, can be held in hybrid cloud infrastructures which showcase enhanced security features adopted via private cloud infrastructure.
- Disaster Recovery – Traditionally, companies use a separate physical location to pass the workloads in case of any disaster. This need of having a physical location can be eliminated by leveraging the hybrid cloud where you can access, track and maintain data for years.
An effective hybrid cloud strategy can help enterprises to decide which workloads and applications should be moved to the public cloud and save costs. Some of the leading hybrid cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Cisco CloudCenter, Equinix Professional Services for Cloud, and so on. A hybrid cloud gives you the ability to innovate new functionalities and resources by striking the right balance between on- and off- premise computing.
Hybrid cloud infrastructure can be used for meeting various needs of an enterprise. From increasing the efficiency of a team to deploying faster products to the market to increasing customer retention rate using analytics, the hybrid cloud serves a wide range of purposes.