As many organisations rushed to adopt the Cloud, they are now learning the reality of their rushed decision as not every application is suited to the public cloud. Perceiving it at first as a cheaper solution, companies have been shocked to see how quickly the bills started to add up. Blinded by the initial price tag, consideration of getting the correct performance and ensuring it meets data protection requirements have seen operating costs double compared to the more traditional on-premise data centre solution.
IDG Research undertook a study which showed that “nearly 40% of organisations with public cloud experience reported having moved public cloud workloads back to on-premises, mostly due to security and cost concerns”. This is not to say that the cloud is not advantageous, but caution should be given as it does depend on the applications that you want to use it for, therefore companies are now looking to embrace ‘Hybrid Cloud’ options.
Hybrid cloud combines traditional on-premise data centre infrastructure with off-premise resource from a public cloud. The drive towards hybrid cloud is fuelled by the perusal of digital transformation and new technologies like artificial intelligence and IoT. However, for your business to succeed you need to decide how your IT team will overcome its IT challenges and the best way to efficiently deliver the required applications.
The benefits of hybrid cloud are numerous, offering;
• Business agility
• Ability to respond to resource demand
• Deliver new products and services more quickly
• Cost efficiencies
• Avoidance of lock-in
• Access to the latest technology
Many retail, manufacturing and distribution centres are adopting the hybrid cloud model due to the dispersion of their applications across remote office/branch offices (ROBOs) and disaster recovery environments.
Additionally, the IoT (Internet of Things) is now prevalent within these industries with the integration of sensors creating substantial data that needs to be processed and responded to requiring local processing.
Your starting point when considering your cloud requirements is to undertake an assessment of the business’s current operations and future IT needs. You must also consider how you will handle data protection and disaster recovery for each application.
It is important to ensure that your cloud operating system provides the ability to monitor, manage and coordinate all environments using a set of single tools whilst enabling your users to work transparently.
Now that you have decided upon your chosen public cloud system, the next step is to how you will adapt your data centres and IT infrastructure. Research from IDC says that “by 2021 a typical enterprise will be expected to reach a 50/50 split between the cloud and on-premise solutions. Therefore, it is as important to focus equally on your on-premise requirements as you about your cloud platform, remembering that a hybrid cloud solution will change your on-premise needs.
As you adopt your hybrid cloud solution, you need to consider the future and the changes that may be required within the company culture and organisational structure. IT teams will need to be flexible and scalable to adapt to your digital needs with your budget being equally split between the daily operational costs and the investment in innovation enabling staff to be relocated to new projects. You may also consider the skill sets that may be required moving away from traditional IT engineers to more digital infrastructure experts.
In summary, before moving to the cloud, consider the option of a hybrid cloud solution that offers a plethora of benefits. However, before you do anything assess your IT requirements and ensure that whatever solution you opt for, it is right for your business now and in the future.