Hybrid cloud: the key to enterprise innovation

Hybrid cloud is the fastest growing segment in the enterprise cloud space. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90% of organisations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities.

It is not surprising to see why, as hybrid cloud can offer flexibility, security and scalability, tailored uniquely to the enterprise. This is because hybrid cloud allows enterprises to deploy an on premise private cloud to host sensitive and critical workloads for extraction and analysis, whilst using a third-party public cloud provider to host less critical resources.

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This allows for rapid adoption of new services, including data, applications, dev-ops toolchains, or community innovations. As enterprises look to scale on the cloud, these types of benefits prove to be ever more attractive.

The best of both worlds

Hybrid cloud provides a competitive edge by offering a wide range of options in terms of cost, reliability and scalability. Businesses are starting to see hybrid cloud as an obvious and natural evolution from more traditional business models. Ultimately, hybrid provides improved experience in its ‘mix & match’ agility approach. This approach enables businesses over time to move what they place on a private cloud to a public cloud and vice – versa.

The agility of a hybrid cloud model allows enterprises to seamlessly augment existing on premise assets with public cloud services, without creating silos. For example, with hybrid cloud a mobile interface can be put on a Websphere or mainframe application, without having to change that application.

Flexibility of deployment for enterprises is key as needs change over time from the initial adoption of a cloud platform. Being able to integrate applications at a later date is vital and is the lifeblood of an organisation to enable them to survive in a competitive market.

>See also: The year of the cloud: flexible, agile and scalable

This flexibility also allows for the storage environment to be scaled and diminished as needed. This accounts for changing circumstances, including the need for cost reductions or alternatively, meeting spikes in demand.

One size does not fit all

What has become clear is that there is no single cloud deployment model that suits all sizes of enterprise – and with the rise of hybrid cloud, developers have more options than ever before. However, the breadth of choice means that it is essential for enterprises to evaluate their options, and consider the best cloud environment to meet their technical and financial requirements, as well as broader business objectives.

Hybrid cloud for all industries

Historically, the choice of which cloud model to adopt was largely predicated by the business conditions of the industry a company is operating in. For example, the banking sector is the largest adopter of cloud compared with all other industries (accounting for 16% of total cloud spending). But this still tends to be private cloud which is useful as an entry point for the financial services industry. It provides greater control of security and data placement decisions, enabling it to comply with the audit requirements of regulators more easily, which is mission critical within the industry.

However, the explosion of the internet of things (IoT) and the competition to be innovative and drive digital transformation in the industry is rapidly changing the state of banking infrastructure.

>See also: 10 trends that will influence cloud computing in 2017

For example, Nordea Bank, uses IBM Bluemix as an innovation platform for their start-up accelerator program. With a focus on future banking innovations and technologies such as Blockchain, cognitive computing and IoT, hybrid cloud gives the engaged start-ups an ideal platform for rapidly evolving their ideas whilst providing the growing Bluemix ecosystem of services and API’s.

The retail industry has also started to make the transition to a hybrid cloud model to enhance IT efficiency and enable a seamless consumer experience. For example, Dixons Carphone is migrating to IBM Cloud to integrate two distinct infrastructures and enable easy scaling to better manage the peaks and troughs of seasonal shopping trends.

The path to digital transformation

The benefits of adopting hybrid cloud go beyond cost reduction and productivity gains. Hybrid cloud is now the gateway to digital transformation. Enterprises are using hybrid cloud to springboard to next generation initiatives such as internet of things and cognitive computing, aiming to disrupt and capture new markets.

>See also: Enterprise storage in 2017: trends and challenges

Using artificial intelligence, businesses can now also augment internal data with external insights coming from social media, weather forecasts, and internet of things devices to improve customer experiences and interactions.

Hybrid cloud is now the de facto state of IT – it is the way many enterprises are transitioning to cloud technologies and solutions that enrich their traditional IT. Ultimately, it is this evolving digital transformation which gives hybrid cloud adopters the competitive edge.


Sourced by Sebastian Krause, general manager, IBM Cloud, Europe at IBM


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...