Hybrid Cloud: Unlocking Business Value

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Why is hybrid cloud computing gaining momentum in businesses both large and small? Because it helps them strike a balance between public cloud services and investments in their own IT infrastructures.

A 2014 Market Pulse survey by IDG Research Services indicates that more than 50 percent of organizations are currently using a hybrid cloud or are in the process of moving workloads to a hybrid cloud, while another 15 percent are in the planning stages. Over the next two years, the percentage of applications deployed in hybrid cloud environments is expected to increase significantly, from 16 percent to 44 percent, according to the survey.

“A new Market Pulse survey by IDG Research Services indicates that more than 50 percent of organizations are currently using a hybrid cloud or are in the process of moving workloads to a hybrid cloud, while another 15 percent are in the planning stages.”

The advantages of a hybrid cloud are clear. Organizations can achieve the infrastructure elasticity and efficiency benefits of the public cloud without sacrificing their existing investments in applications, operations, and infrastructure. And by moving their workloads and applications to a hybrid cloud environment, organizations are speeding the delivery of IT resources, improving resource utilization, and strengthening their disaster-recovery capabilities, the survey finds.

In short, a hybrid cloud model can provide both significant cost savings and greater business agility. For instance, the ability to seamlessly move existing applications between public cloud resources and an onsite data center is a factor driving about 30 percent of organizations that have already adopted or are planning to adopt a hybrid cloud solution, according to the Market Pulse survey.

A Change in Thinking About Cloud

Despite common worries about security and compliance, organizations are becoming more comfortable with cloud computing. The hybrid cloud further eases concerns by keeping sensitive data and applications in a company’s secure, private cloud while leveraging the public cloud for workloads and application components that have lower security requirements.

Companies that have embraced this model are reaping the many rewards that the hybrid cloud has to offer. The ability of a hybrid cloud to function as an extension of an existing IT environment allows IT organizations to quickly deliver the agility benefits of cloud computing to the business. The IT department can also use the same management tools and governance policies it has already adopted in the data center to maintain security and visibility.

Due to benefits like these, spending on hybrid clouds is expected to skyrocket over the next two years. The increased investment is not driven solely by those still in the planning stages, however. Organizations that have already deployed hybrid clouds expect their spending in this area to increase from an average of 16 percent of their IT budgets to 36 percent, signaling a significant shift to hybrid clouds as a primary deployment model.

Clearing Away the Obstacles to Hybrid Cloud

So what’s stopping some organizations from transitioning to a hybrid cloud environment? The biggest obstacles are two ongoing concerns about cloud computing in general: ensuring that data is secure and that compliance requirements are met. More than half of all survey respondents identified these two factors as potential barriers to hybrid cloud adoption, even though these concerns are not unique to a hybrid cloud. Among respondents who indicated they have no plans to move workloads to the cloud, 90 percent cited security as a concern.

Security is also at the top of most organizations’ requirements when searching for service providers: 94 percent of respondents said the provider’s security capabilities are an important factor when selecting a hybrid cloud solution.

What are hybrid cloud providers doing to allay these concerns? Some providers ensure compliance with regulatory and industry standards, deliver secure connectivity, and leverage an organization’s existing policies and controls for secure authentication and access to company data.

The bottom line is that hybrid cloud computing is too important to pass up. In fact, more than 75 percent of survey respondents are using or planning to build hybrid cloud capabilities, and with good reason. With true hybrid cloud solutions, organizations can extend the same applications, networking, management, operations, and tools across both on-premises and off-premises environments.

“The bottom line is that hybrid cloud computing is too important to pass up. In fact, more than 75 percent of survey respondents are using or planning to build hybrid cloud capabilities, and with good reason.”

IT organizations are finding that a hybrid cloud provides the best of both worlds: the agility and flexibility to quickly deliver IT resources to support the business while maintaining visibility and control of those resources.

 

Photo credit: boytsov/iStock/Thinkstock

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