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Is 2022 the year of the hybrid?

by jcp

Whilst public cloud solutions have the appeal of convenience and low start-up capital expenditure, vendors now find themselves rethinking their options and turning their attention to hybrid offerings. 

Enterprise Marketing Manager, Massimo Bandinelli, believes that business leaders should re-evaluate their IT infrastructure this year, amidst the ongoing global pandemic. 

In recent years, digital technology has been integrated into businesses at a rapid pace, transforming the nature of their operations. From The World Economic Forum predicting great technological changes in the future, to global boardrooms, it is clear that the digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down this year. 2022 promises to welcome a further blurring of boundaries between the physical and digital world, as organisations are noticing how technology can support the way we work in today’s post-pandemic world and harnessing it to consolidate and futureproof operations.

Cloud has now quickly become a defining force of IT operations for enterprises, particularly since the shift toward remote working. A recent survey by ABB Power Conversion revealed that an unsurprising 96% of US data centre professionals reported increased demand on their data centre services since the beginning of the pandemic. But it doesn’t end here. As businesses continue to embrace arising technologies like AI, machine learning, automation, big data analytics, 5G and more, the rise in data centre demand will likely continue for years to come. Without a strong cloud infrastructure the integration of these technologies would be unsupported and problematic.

Vendors are now considering a move away from public cloud and looking towards customised hybrid solutions as more appealing options, because they offerboth private and public cloud architecture. So how would switching to hybrid cloud solutions benefit enterprises, as opposed to sticking with public? Let’s find out.

Let’s remember what hybrid cloud stands for

Public cloud solutions tend to attract most enterprises at the start of their cloud journey due to several advantages such as ease of use, flexibility, and low capital expenditure. Although, with these advantages comes a greater number of drawbacks. Among these is the performance and functionality compromise that companies often have to make to align with the regulations of external cloud platforms. This may result in companies becoming reliant on these platforms, restricting them from switching to a different vendor. Secondly, the low-cost set-up is likely to result in high operating costs, as enterprises increase the scale of their cloud operations over time.

What’s great about the hybrid cloud is that it combines the benefits of public and private solutions to provide a bespoke offering of different technologies, specifically designed to fit an enterprise’s needs and objectives. Developing a hybrid solution involves combining a public cloud with a physical data centre (a private cloud), which then enables the flow of data and applications between cloud and on-premises data centres and different cloud servers. The most significant advantages of adopting hybrid cloud relate to security, scalability, cost and compliance. Let’s dive into each of these.

Improved protection and security of data

With a hybrid cloud solution, enterprises can better control their data. IT managers can use the private cloud to store data that requires higher levels of security, whilst utilising the public cloud to store less sensitive data, lowering company costs without sacrificing the security of data. Solid technical measures of security such as encryption, access control, automation, orchestration and endpoint security are a lot easier to implement with the centralised management system of the hybrid solution, ensuring a more secure and protected data flow.

Much more scalability 

Over the last two years industry leaders have learned to expect the unexpected. Despite how well they satisfy the needs of their business, changes in demand can occur overnight. In today’s world that is constantly changing, flexibility is crucial. The hybrid cloud offering provides IT leaders with the flexibility to easily respond to unprecedented spikes in demand. For example, it is easy to obtain additional public cloud capacity in the short-term, whilst more fixed long-term can be stored in on-premises data centres. Enterprises can use this approach to keep their cloud infrastructure as adaptable as possible, without procuring expensive access capacity they seldom use, or exceed their existing capacity.

Compliance is a key benefit

The regulation of data is a frequently changing landscape, and the complexity is only expected to increase in the next few years as cyber security and privacy become a priority for global leaders and regulators.

When determining the right cloud solution for their business, the issue of data sovereignty, in particular, should be the frontier for enterprise leaders. The principle of data sovereignty refers to the governance of digital data by the laws of the country where it is processed. Not only does this concept apply to EU countries, but also to companies that process, store or manage data from EU-based organisations. Taking this into consideration, companies that are reliant on a public cloud solution can expect a complex set of compliance requirements, as it demands a certain degree of control and management of data. Due to a lack of transparency from most public cloud providers, it can be difficult to determine how and where data is stored.

Meanwhile, the hybrid solution offers complete transparency as IT leaders can store data in a private cloud, maintaining a storage and networking infrastructure that is specific to them. As a result, thorough compliance with regional and industry regulations is achieved, whilst also producing evidence of this as a means of reporting and auditing.

In the years to come data management challenges are only going to grow. In contrast to  public cloud solutions alone, businesses that adopt a bespoke hybrid cloud solution will sooner be able to respond to changes in demand while staying innovative and ensuring maximum protection and compliance of their customers’ data.

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