As enterprises mature in their cloud strategy, they are increasingly driven to customise their cloud solutions for flexibility, scalability, and cost. To meet these unique requirements, service providers are noticing an increase in hybrid cloud adoption.
Hybrid cloud is a mix of on-premises, private, and public cloud services with orchestration between the platforms. With hybrid cloud, workloads can move between private and public clouds as a company’s needs and budgets change, offering greater flexibility and more data deployment options. In addition, hybrid gives a unified infrastructure, whatever a business’ combination of resources – from private or public cloud to legacy or colocation. For instance, an enterprise could use an on-premises private cloud to host sensitive or critical workloads and deploy a public cloud provider to host less-critical resources like test and development workloads or start greenfield projects.
By implementing a hybrid cloud platform, the combination of public and private cloud has given businesses the tools to grow and innovate at a lower cost.
Fast-track new products to market
Hybrid cloud offers a competitive advantage by giving organisations the ability to quickly launch new products or services and drive revenue growth. The speed of IT services provisioning can change from weeks to hours.
In addition, the scalability of the cloud enables businesses to meet demand for their services without the need for large, up-front investments in infrastructure. Furthermore, it offers organisations different ways to deliver IT services, allowing them to take advantage of the best method for them.
The Cloud Industry Forum polled 250 senior IT and business decision-makers in enterprises, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and public sector organisations, all of which had UK operations. When asked which business objectives are driving investment in cloud initiatives within their organisations, the following factors were cited:
- 29 per cent enabling innovation
- 28 per cent development of new product or services
- 25 per cent greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions
- 22 per cent gaining competitive advantage
Reduce investment costs
The decision to move to the cloud is often motivated by an organisation’s desire to open up new markets, frequently prompted by geographic expansion. Hybrid cloud platforms give organisations the business agility to quickly enter new markets at a low cost. What is more, the cost of investment is reduced through on-demand self-service, so companies of all sizes can spearhead global initiatives. Once a hybrid cloud infrastructure is in place, cloud resources can be automated and spun up instantaneously.
All of this means that companies, regardless of size, can enter new markets thanks to these reductions in time and low cost of entry, increasing the competitive advantage business can achieve.
Cloud computing can also help grow revenues in a number of important ways, in particular when it comes to releasing new products. It also allows organisations to introduce new features, manufacturing processes, distribution channels and to respond in shifts in customer demand or activity by competitors.
Furthermore, cloud computing has three key aspects:
SaaS (software-as-a-service) is deployed as a hosted service designed for end-users and delivered over the web. Analyst firm IDC predicts that by 2018, about $1 of every $4 spent on applications will be consumed via the SaaS model, which illustrated the growth of hybrid cloud in the marketplace.
PaaS (platform-as-a-service) provides the tools and services to develop and deliver applications in the cloud quickly and efficiently. It helps reduce time to market for digitised products and services. Plus, the reuse of components means that quality can be enhanced even as time is reduced.
IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) refers to the virtual machines and storage networking components. It provides the elasticity to support rapid and unpredictable growth, especially for purely digital services.
A new way forward
Hybrid cloud offers a new model for businesses to exploit innovative technologies. It can positively impact an organisation through greater revenue, global market reach and customer satisfaction, at lower cost and risk.
Research from the Cloud Industry Forum shows that despite the widespread adoption of cloud across all sectors and verticals, respondents still feel that using cloud gives them an edge against their business rivals and has made them more competitive. In fact, over half (56 per cent) of cloud users say that their organisation has a competitive advantage as a result of using cloud services, and a further 22 per cent anticipate seeing one.
These results show that organisations are aware that hybrid cloud puts them in the advantageous position of being able to respond quickly to market changes, delivering new products at an accelerated pace.
In the end, hybrid cloud enables organisations to use public cloud platform offerings, without having all of their data in a third-party data centre, giving organisations more flexibility when using the latest available technology, whilst keeping their most vital information within company servers.
Tony Connor at Datapipe
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