CIOs are coming to one inescapable conclusion: moving application workloads to the most suitable IT infrastructure can dramatically boost their enterprise’s cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
Keeping compliant, sensitive data on premises while moving other workloads to the cloud is just one example. And to better serve IoT devices, it makes sense to have a closer presence in edge data centers. This hybrid IT approach opens up significant opportunities for enterprises; it reduces the total cost of ownership of their IT infrastructure and increases efficiencies and performance. It also allows enterprises to convert infrastructure from a cost center to an entity that produces value for the business.
IT Morphing into a Service Model
There’s little doubt that IT will eventually segue into a service model and cloud computing will facilitate this move. The cloud opens up vast new opportunities, allowing applications and functionality to be pulled from a variety of sources—be they public cloud–based, private cloud resources, or internal data centers.
Forward-thinking CIOs will learn to optimize their investment in legacy IT systems and dovetail new platforms to maximize results. Others, to their detriment, will ignore the new capabilities of recent platforms such as containerization and edge computing. IT and business executives must walk that fine line between public and on-premises resources, a line that will move one way or the other as business needs shift in an ever-changing economy.
Balancing Cloud Entities
Striking balance among various types of infrastructure will separate winners from losers. Enterprises seeking to stay competitive in today’s hyper-fast markets will adapt beyond a static cloud environment. Today, fewer firms have anchored themselves to either an all on-prem or all public cloud business model. To succeed, one needs a blend of services that cater to changing business needs. This fluid adaptability stems from the need for higher efficiency and lower cost. In some cases, public clouds were simply regarded as transitory to launch new apps or functionality only to become defacto – and this is where cloud costs have typically skyrocketed. When confronted with the choice of using a public cloud or an on-premises alternative, CIOs need to thread the needle, weighing costs, security, and more flexibility.
A Fluid Mix of Public vs. On Premises Resources
The mix of public versus on premises resources should remain fluid as new applications or workloads are added. Enterprises making the shift to public cloud infrastructures saw a rise in per-transaction costs. But those switching back to on-premises noted costs to be unpredictable owing to changing usage patterns and unpredictable subscription costs.
To ensure the smooth migration of applications to other providers or a return to on-premises, cloud engagements should be predicated on open standards and protocols. This provides for easy hosting and moves to alternate platforms. It can’t be stated strongly enough that transitioning between clouds, or between public clouds and on-prem environments can be time-consuming.
Still, it’s no surprise that security and compliance are the leading drivers of hybrid cloud adoption. Once a vendor is “locked-in,” data and applications can be extremely difficult to replicate or move due to a vendor’s proprietary processes and standards.
The important point here is to ensure CIOs ask all the right questions to achieve the correct cloud balance that works for their enterprise. Dovetailing both on-premises and third-party cloud providers is what’s needed to meet the ever-changing demands of their organizations.