The benefits that cloud can bring to businesses are widely understood. The cloud promised to transform businesses with speed, security and scale. However, it can only achieve that if the fit is right. For many enterprises, it’s like squeezing a square peg into a round hole, adopting shiny new solutions rather than what the business needs. I’ve talked before about businesses that migrated to the cloud, sometimes with a single vendor, and suffered huge financial losses due to unexpected operating costs. This tends to happen when technology is deployed without it being driven by a business need.
Understanding the different faces of the business and how those independent parts can benefit from cloud or on-premise technology gives IT teams the ability to bring the two approaches together to create a strategy that is cost effective, efficient as well as secure. This leaves companies with the realisation that their strategies can change and go on to reassess their options by ditching the cloud-only approach for something more flexible. As a result, businesses have now started to adopt a hybrid infrastructure approach.
An agile network approach
Many public cloud providers are guilty of tying companies into their network and restricting choice on how they benefit from the cloud. For those businesses that migrated entirely to the cloud, they now find they aren’t controlling their strategy, the cloud is. For example, if the network failed completely, this would cause huge problems for a company that relies on just one cloud provider. Major cloud providers promise 99.99% SLA uptime, however, that translates to an hour of downtime a year. Imagine what impact that could have on your business. Instead, by taking a hybrid infrastructure approach, companies can keep customers happy as well as reduce their risk.
A key benefit of the cloud is that it can offer a cost effective solution. Smaller companies don’t tend to have the funds to invest in the CAPEX costs, purchasing servers, storage and infrastructure. However, a public cloud offers a diverse and flexible option that can be expanded or reduced at will. The thing to look out for here is the ongoing operating expenditure (OPEX). This regularly catches companies out and costs can inexplicably go up without a thorough understanding of business requirements. As mentioned, for companies that migrate in entirety to the cloud, these costs can be high given the high volume usage. Companies will regain more power and control over their spending by investing in hybrid infrastructure.
Security is one of the biggest challenges and concerns a company can face. Remote working has extended this even further. Businesses require different security measures, sometimes depending on what industry they operate in or as criminals, especially in the current situation, get smarter or more opportunistic. A single open door to internal data is at risk of attack. With the ever changing nature of criminal activity, implementing hybrid infrastructure or a multicloud approach is definitely a necessity rather than a luxury.
It’s a wise idea for companies wanting to protect their internal assets to add more layers of security to an on-prem solution. A lot of services are at different stages of their lifecycle – they may not be suitable for full migration to the cloud. This should be assessed as part of the strategy and careful planning against business requirements before the adoption of any new network infrastructure. Hybrid cloud and multicloud environments will create a stronger resistance against a cyber attack.
Cloud benefits are here to help companies become more efficient, secure and agile. But if you’re considering a transformation project, plan for ongoing iterations. Business needs change at rapid speeds, so it’s no longer the best option to rely on just one approach. A hybrid infrastructure model gives you the control and flexibility to decide what will operate on-prem and what will be migrated to the cloud. This ensures better protection for the business against lock in vendor contracts and escalating costs, plus provides you with choices for smooth migration and transformation in the future.