Deployment of hybrid cloud environments has been on the rise in the enterprise space over the past few years. IT leaders within these organizations often want the control and security a private cloud or on premise solution delivers, along with the flexibility and scalability a public cloud can provide. Combined, a hybrid cloud approach provides the benefits of both worlds—where mission-critical IT operations can be kept on-site or in a private cloud while other workloads and applications can be offloaded to a public cloud environment.
Forrester found that on average, “enterprises have 2.64 public cloud implementations, 2.13 hosted private cloud implementations, 2.99 internal private cloud implementations, and 56% of enterprise cloud configurations are already hybrid.”
A recent survey conducted by Forrester reveals that security management and platform management complexity pose the biggest challenges to enterprise IT execs. With workload and responsibilities for IT teams at near capacity for most organizations, many companies are opting to outsource the implementation and management of hybrid cloud solutions to a third party.
Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud vs. On-Premise
The idea of a public cloud environment being leveraged in the enterprise space seemed implausible only a few years ago. The potential for security breaches and an overall lack of control made it a complex solution to sell to any IT security executive.
Today, cloud-based solutions are more secure than ever and are helping many firms cut costs by offloading workloads to a public cloud. Cloud solutions aren’t just an internal benefit. Many customers now expect a cloud solution for companies they engage with. They want the ability to access their information or application as quickly as possible from wherever they want – the same way many remote business teams do. Speed is everything when it comes to user experience, and an on premise solution can slow this down significantly.
Many enterprise organizations are running applications on more than one public cloud. However, this isn’t an option for some businesses when it comes to sensitive data and mission critical applications. Private cloud environments are often leveraged for sensitive data, and systems that businesses cannot function without are still often stored on premise.
The reality is there is not a one size fits all solution. Each business has unique requirements, specifically as it relates to data security and must have integrations. Identifying the right mix of private, public, and on premise infrastructure is the key. This often requires leveraging professionals who have experience in designing a hybrid cloud environment.
Start with Desired Outcomes
Desired outcomes and security requirements must be mapped out before cloud applications are deployed. All business processes leveraging IT should be mapped out to understand each integration point and potential security risk. By starting with the end solution, IT professionals can back into the type of environment that best fits their needs.
Furthermore, Gartner analyst Chris Wolf states that there is not yet a single platform through which public and private cloud functions can be universally managed. And while many public cloud services claim to integrate with private cloud services, each situation is unique. An organization could find out the hard way that only about 40% of business-critical features effectively integrate. Carefully vetting solutions—or relying on the experience of a technology solution provider that’s successfully implemented multiple enterprise cloud solutions—can save thousands of dollars and headaches in the long run.
The Year of Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud environment is no longer a new solution or trend, as nearly 50% of enterprise firms have already moved to this type of architecture. That percentage is expected to grow at an even faster rate as we move into 2017. Users are demanding speed and flexibility, and cloud environments are now secure to the point that IT executives are comfortable with mass adoption.