Organizations everywhere are embracing hybrid cloud models. In manufacturing, for example, hybrid cloud adoption is expected to double by 2023 to support the pivot to new technologies, like Internet of Things devices, according to a recent report by ABI Research.
But the industrial sector isn't the only business tapping this digital transformation tool. Several organizations are embracing hybrid cloud, in particular, because it allows organizations to experience many of the benefits offered by both private and public clouds.
Here are a few of the benefits that are leading organizations to embrace hybrid clouds:
1. Hybrid Clouds Offer Faster Service Delivery
Procuring a physical server takes time. The expense must be approved, the purchase made, the server delivered and the hardware installed and configured. The process may take several weeks or more to complete. By tying resources to the public cloud, organizations give themselves the option of provisioning new infrastructure perhaps in a matter of minutes rather than weeks or months.
This is especially important for companies that are growing quickly or experiencing unpredictable spikes in resource demand.
2. More Flexible Expenses Let Organizations Go from CAPEX to OPEX
Traditional IT resource provisioning can create serious headaches around cash flow. Investments must be planned and budgeted years in advance, and companies must either set aside funds for large purchases or else pay off their infrastructure over a period of years.
Cloud resources let organizations shift their IT spend from a capital expense (CAPEX) model to an operating expense (OPEX) model. Many business and IT leaders prefer a manageable and predictable monthly expense, which can free up capital for other investments and free up time for management to focus on pressing problems beyond paying for their infrastructure.
3. Hybrid Models Reduce Administrative Burdens
The cost of on-premises infrastructure isn’t tied to hardware alone. In addition to utilities and facilities, the total cost of physical resources includes the staff who “care for and feed” servers and storage infrastructure.
When more resources are placed in the public cloud, this frees up IT staff for other projects. Rather than spending their time on patching and hardware refreshes, they can pursue the organization’s IT strategic goals.
4. Cloud-Based Collaboration Empowers Staff
By moving all file servers — and, therefore, all documents — to a cloud-based collaboration system, organizations empower staff to edit, share and collaborate on any document, on any device, from anywhere. By making this move, IT no longer needs to be concerned with backups and recovery from unstructured data.
In addition, separating documents from endpoints greatly simplifies the process of refreshing devices.
As more employees work remotely, collaboration solutions are becoming increasingly important. Alongside facilitating collaboration on documents, spreadsheets and presentations, the public cloud also gives organizations a path to adopt video collaboration solutions without making significant capital investments for new hardware.
5. Cloud-Backed Data Enhances Security
For a long time, security concerns held organizations back from pushing resources to the public cloud, but attitudes are quickly changing. In fact, there are ways in which a hybrid cloud model can actually help organizations keep sensitive data more secure.
For instance, lost laptops are a $1 billion business problem. Potentially greater than the loss of an expensive piece of computing equipment, however, is the loss of the sensitive data inside it, which may include personnel records, financial information and valuable intellectual property.
For organizations operating within a hybrid cloud model, however, a lost laptop does not typically create an all-hands-on-deck emergency. With data backed up in the cloud, employees can recover it no matter what happens to their machines, and IT can remotely wipe data from lost laptops and mobile devices so that it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
6. A Global Platform Allows Organizations to Grow Reach
Back in the days when practically all IT services were accessed locally, local storage and processing made a lot of sense.
Today, most services need to be available anywhere in the world to accommodate remote and traveling employees. Running services that must be accessible around the globe is a good reason to move a service to the cloud.
7. Cut Costs in the Cloud
This is a tricky one. Although cost reductions have, historically, been a significant driver of enterprises’ moves to push resources to the public cloud, some organizations have seen mixed results. This doesn’t mean that adopting a hybrid cloud model won’t drive down expenses, only that organizations must carefully evaluate their specific use cases and run the numbers, rather than simply assume that cost benefits will materialize on their own.
Without knowing specifics, it is impossible to say which cost reductions may arise from adopting Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, developing services for the cloud or moving current services from a private data center to the public cloud. The answer depends on the nature of the specific application and its associated dependencies.
8. Bolster Competitiveness and Agility
Moving to the cloud gives everyone access to enterprise-class technology. It also lets smaller businesses keep up with — or even move faster than — larger, more established competitors.
Pay-as-you-go services and cloud business applications make it possible for small organizations to “run with the big boys” while staying lean and nimble, even as they attempt to disrupt the marketplace. In the past, it was virtually impossible for a small startup to invest in the same types of technology that large enterprises maintained in their corporate data centers. The cloud helps to even the playing field.
9. Simplify Service and Streamline Innovation
The cloud helps organizations simplify service delivery and reduce support and administration. It may even allow them to eventually get out of the data center business entirely, if that is their aim.
This level of simplicity is particularly attractive to startups. In Silicon Valley, most new companies are opting not to build their own data centers, reasoning that they can create one in the cloud with a few clicks of a mouse.
Learn how to build your hybrid cloud strategy by reading the CDW white paper “Hybrid Clouds Deliver the Best of Both Worlds.”