Will Hybrid Cloud Adoption Get Real in Times of Crisis?


As global demand for business communications apps rises amid the crisis, organizations have stepped up spending on cloud infrastructure to support distributed teams. The cloudOpens a new window , undoubtedly has become an important infrastructure component, as evidenced by AWS that generated more than $10 billionOpens a new window in sales this past quarter.

In the current recessionary environment, security has become a top concern for IT leaders who need to rethink their cloud infrastructure approach. Also, IT leaders also need to be mindful of COVID-19 induced security risks in the cloud and this increased focus on cloud security will drive the shift towards hybrid cloud deployments. In a 2019 Nutanix surveyOpens a new window , 85% of respondents rated hybrid cloud as the ideal IT operating model.

Roughly 84 percent of businesses recently surveyed by IDG ResearchOpens a new window reported that they were migrating some of their workloads out of the public cloud, whether it was to private cloud infrastructure or back to on-premise solutions.

These findings indicate that one-size doesn’t fit all, even for the cloud. After an initial jump to the public cloud, businesses are now reevaluating and taking a more nuanced approach. The hybrid cloud is in the ascendant. The hybrid cloud model is set to see the most growth over the next four years.

“Every business today should be considering how a hybrid cloud implementation can optimize their business,” says Kamran Amini, vice president and general manager of server, storage and software-defined infrastructure at LenovoOpens a new window .

If your company is not completely happy with its current computing landscape, here are six signs that a hybrid cloud might be right for your firm.

Learn More: An Essential Cloud-to-Cloud Migration Checklist Opens a new window

1. Computing Needs Vary

Computing requirements often vary for companies, and IT teams serve stakeholders with varying degrees of performance, security and agility requirements. For businesses with a wide range of computing needs, hybrid solutions might make sense.

“Both private and public cloud architectures have pros and cons, with hybrid driving the best of both worlds,” says Greg Smith, vice president of product marketing for cloud infrastructure maker, NutanixOpens a new window .

“Using careful planning and a hybrid cloud environment, they’ll be able to optimize for speed and scalability for development teams, for instance, while ensuring security compliance and predictable performance for teams relying on mission-critical applications,” he says.

2. Legal Requires Physical Control

Even though public cloudOpens a new window security is generally as good or better than anything businesses can cook up themselves, there still are many situations where legal requirements specify a degree of ownership greater than what can be achieved in the cloud. This is a sign that a hybrid approach might be right, allowing greater control of certain data and processes while keeping other systems on the public cloud where benefits predominate.

Even when regulation does not impact the decision, there’s still the question of control for a given part of the corporate IT landscape.

“IT leaders should think hard about what aspects they need absolute control over versus which ones are best left to others,” says Kaustubh Das, vice president of product management for networking giant, CiscoOpens a new window .

3. High-Performance Matters

Public cloud computing performs well for many purposes, but the most demanding computing applications often need better performance than what the public cloud delivers. If a business has high-performance needs, it might make sense to use a private cloud solution or on-premise systems for such applications, leaving less demanding applications on the public cloudOpens a new window .

“There will be use cases where latency concerns will require that portions of the application reside on-prem so as to achieve low latency response to changes,” notes Das. “Examples of such use cases abound in industrial settings, poor connectivity settings or newer application settings such as AR/VR, autonomous machinesOpens a new window , AI inferencing, etc.”

Learn More: IBM Doubles Down on Hybrid Cloud: OpenShift Now Available on IBM Z & LinuxONE Opens a new window

4. Moving to the Cloud is Too Demanding

While legacy infrastructure should not hold back business modernization, the reality is that sometimes cloud migration is not worth the effort. Either moving to the cloud is too difficult for parts of a business, or there’s reason to keep certain parts on-prem instead of developing complex workarounds.

“Most data resides on-prem. And it is extremely hard and time-consuming to move this data to the cloud,” says Das. “The ideal answer is to bridge this data to portions of applications that can be in the cloud or on cloud-native architectures on-prem.”

This consideration often moves IT leaders to hybrid architectures, he says.

5. Shadow IT is Emerging

Shadow IT forms when employees have a need that is not met. The need could be performance, simplicity, efficiency, or even application familiarity. The end result is the same, however: system workarounds that get the job done, but at the cost of IT management headaches, cost and reduced security.

This could be a sign that a hybrid environmentOpens a new window is in the cards.

“If IT teams are noticing a growing sprawl of cloud accounts or IT consumption using credit cards, the organization might be struggling to deliver services fast enough, driving end users to take matters into their own hands,” warns Smith.

“Adoption of a hybrid cloud environment can enable organizations to deliver faster IT services to users at the forefront of innovation cycles without major disruption to existing applications and practices,” he says.

6. Digital is a Strategic Advantage

A host of aggressive requirements emerge when a business decides that digital is a strategic advantage: self-service delivery, daily or weekly iteration on applications, and very low latency performance or instant scaling, to name just a few.

“Demanding requirements are a good sign to go hybrid and rethink operational practices,” says Smith. “Hybrid cloud is a great way to foster better collaboration, automate routine tasks, deliver high levels of flexibility, and ultimately ensure the organization is at the forefront of technology-driven innovation.”

Ultimately, the question of whether to go with a hybrid cloud environment is not a question at all, according to Das.

“The short answer is always yes, but the devil lies in the details,” he says.

The trick is understanding which segments should be on-premise and which should be in the cloud. Before that can happen, says Das, all systems need to be modernized.

So if you don’t already have a clear understanding of where a hybrid strategy makes sense, start with technology modernizationOpens a new window Opens a new window noopener” title=”Opens a new window” target=”_blank” target=”_blank”> and go from there.

Do you think the pandemic will influence enterprise cloud deployment decisions? Comment below or let us know on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!