The cloud offers a number of powerful business advantages for enterprises: It provides an affordable, scalable data storage solution, empowers employees with highly accessible collaborative resources and streamlines disaster recovery processes. Companies looking to take advantage of the cloud have a number of options, from public to private services as well as an array of managed hosting solutions. Choosing the right match for the organization can make all the difference between an acceptable solution and a resource that truly optimizes business operations.
Organizations take to the hybrid cloud
According to Gartner research, the hybrid cloud is growing in popularity: The report predicted that close to half of all large enterprises will use the hybrid cloud by 2017. The hybrid approach is attractive to companies that need the security and flexibility of the private cloud without sacrificing the cost-effectiveness of the public cloud. Hybrid arrangements can be tailored to an organization’s unique needs, allowing it to tier data according to security and access requirements. In a business environment that is permeated by rapidly evolving data and technology, agility is key to sustainable success.
“Virtualization reduces capital expenses, and standards and automation reduce operational expenses,” said Thomas Bittman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, taking the next step of adding usage metrics, self-service offerings and automated provisioning requires investment in technologies without a significant reduction in operational cost. With this in mind, the driving factor for going that next step should primarily be agility.”
Hybrid cloud offers agility, oversight
Gartner explained that agility is emerging as the primary reason corporate leaders are moving their operations to the cloud, as they outsource infrastructure to transform their business processes and strategies. In addition to agility, companies also value the cloud for efficient ways to host their applications. Although the public cloud offers extremely affordable services, not all operations are appropriate for the platform, so organizations need hybrid options that let them delegate certain processes to the private cloud.
The cloud is also a valuable resource for meeting the demands of an increasingly mobile workforce. With the growing popularity of BYOD policies, enterprises need solutions that provide employees with company tools they can access on their devices while still allowing the IT team to manage security. As NetworkWorld observed, the convenience of the public cloud has motivated some workers to go around their IT teams to use services. With the hybrid cloud, companies can offer similar – but managed – services to their employees to discourage “shadow IT” behavior.