Using a hybrid cloud approach to accelerate your business

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The need for flexible IT infrastructure has never been more evident.

This past year, both public and private institutions had to rapidly adapt their IT infrastructure to meet the demands created by COVID-19. There have been exponential increases in e-commerce, remote working, and online education. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted just a few months into the pandemic: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

Despite acceleration of digital and IT transformation, just 19% of companies are using public cloud to meet all their IT infrastructure needs, according to the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report. Meanwhile, 78% are using a hybrid cloud approach.

Why are most organizations turning to hybrid cloud to achieve their desired business goals? Let’s take a look.

Benefits of hybrid cloud

Companies are adopting a hybrid cloud approach to blend the advantages of on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud. These benefits include the ability to:

1. Retain mission-critical IP

In a recent survey, 81% of organizations admitted that security is a challenge with adopting public cloud. With hybrid cloud, you can retain mission-critical applications and intellectual property (IP) in private, on-premises environments for tighter data control and security.

2. Scale resources

Hybrid cloud provides flexible IT that can dynamically scale to meet changing business needs. That’s because organizations can utilize existing public cloud resources to quickly address unexpected or temporary spikes in demand, like those associated with holiday buying seasons, for instance. This enables them to avoid the lengthy procurement and deployment cycles associated with on-premises infrastructure, thus saving time and money.

In this way, hybrid cloud was critical in enabling the massive remote workforce driven by the pandemic.  Organizations enabled remote workforces virtually overnight by utilizing public cloud infrastructure to quickly scale IT for this unexpected need.

3. Accelerate innovation

More than ever, competitive differentiation is tied to a company’s applications. Hybrid cloud co-locates applications with a myriad of additional services and technologies offered by cloud providers, including serverless computing, machine learning (ML), analytics, and data warehouse products, that can be used to accelerate innovation of new and existing applications. With hybrid cloud, organizations can quickly establish test and development environments and incorporate these technologies with shorter development cycle times and faster release schedules.

What is an optimal hybrid cloud environment?

Adoption of a hybrid cloud strategy requires more than using a mix of resources across public cloud and on-premises infrastructure.

Public cloud infrastructure environments are different from typical on-premises environments in terms of the types of resources, the management tools that can be used, and the skill sets required to effectively operate the environment. These differences translate into cost, effort, and risk to the IT organization, reducing the benefits of a hybrid cloud approach. In some cases, they may prevent an organization from adopting a hybrid cloud approach at all.

An optimal hybrid cloud approach incorporates the following attributes:

  • Ability to operate both environments using the same tools and skill sets, eliminating the need for retraining
  • Ability to add or remove resources on demand within minutes, enabling agility and flexibility
  • Access to public cloud services, including databases, data analytics services, and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and ML

What’s next?

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated IT transformation and demonstrated the need for flexible IT environments.

If you want to succeed in this new landscape, you must create a foundation that enables agility and flexibility. With a hybrid cloud approach, you put yourself on this very path, enabling you to achieve your business needs while remaining competitive in the marketplace.

About the author

Gayle Shelley is a Channel Manager for Multi-Cloud products and offers at VMware. Gayle has spent over 15 years in the compute and networking space with a focus on virtualization and IT transformation, helping customers and channel partners accelerate their desired business outcomes. Check out VMware Multi-Cloud Solutions for more information.