Hybrid Cloud: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
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The hybrid cloud — a catalog of cloud services created and provisioned both inside and outside the enterprise — is a model growing in popularity among large companies. But how solid is the business case? And can companies effectively integrate data from multiple cloud sources?
Until recently, companies either provisioned their cloud services internally or subscribed them from third-party providers. Increasingly, this either/or approach is being replaced by a hybrid cloud model that features services from both internal and external sources, allowing IT to offer a broad catalog of cloud-based business services. The business case is compelling: The hybrid model can increase agility and deliver value. Yet, some companies remain wary due to the potential security risk of moving some cloud services out of the enterprise trust zone and the potential complexity of managing a hybrid services catalog. They want to wait until this relatively new cloud model evolves and matures before adopting it.
Explore all sides below by clicking on each button:
|The hybrid cloud model is still new. I’d like to wait until it matures a bit.
This model will only improve with time. When we commit, we want demonstrated, predictable ROI.
|You can increase value now with cloud. Why wait?
You are already offering (or want to offer!) the types of services appropriate to the cloud model. Why not offer them more effectively and efficiently?
|We don’t have the right skill sets to pull this off.
Who has the budget (or the time) to hire new IT team members with specialized skills?
|You need new skill sets anyway.
It’s time to provide a catalog of meaningful IT and business services. The cloud can reduce the number of new skill sets you will need to make this happen.
|I’m concerned about security.
Taking some of these services out of our in-house “trust zone” is just too risky.
|It’s a business decision. There are effective ways to intelligently manage risk.
The fundamental types of risk you will face won’t change. You’ll just tweak your mitigation techniques to handle multi-source.
|I don’t see the business case for the hybrid model.
The hybrid cloud model might work for some IT services, but does it really make sense for my line of business?
|Your competitors saw it months ago.
The business case for the hybrid model is generally favorable in terms of agility and economics. (At least your competitors think so.)
Mark White, Principal, CTO, Deloitte Consulting LLP
The forces of consumerization and democratization are bearing down on IT shops in virtually all sectors. When employees come to work, they expect to have technologies that are at least as good as the tools they have at home. If you don’t meet this expectation, employees no longer have to turn to IT for the solutions they need to do their jobs — they can source many of them externally. When this happens, you lose visibility into how and where enterprise information assets are being transacted, analyzed and stored. This, in turn, decreases your ability to determine what IT and business services are needed throughout the enterprise.
The time may be right for IT to create and provision a catalog of services. The hybrid cloud can offer an efficient and economical way to accomplish this goal. Yes, there are companies for whom only private cloud may be appropriate and others for whom only public cloud services may make sense. However, for many, the hybrid model can provide the agility and value needed to achieve their specific service goals. As the use of hybrid clouds gains wider acceptance, the solution approach evolves from single-cloud provisioning to multi-cloud integration. The hybrid cloud becomes a hyper-hybrid cloud. “Hyper” implies multiple individual cloud environments collaborating with each other and then performing as an integrated solution back to the organization. Along with advances in integration engines in the public cloud, we are seeing momentum for workflow and business rules engines available as cloud services shared between a subscriber and multiple providers.
In the future, “hyper-hybrid clouds” are likely to continue to compose and converge. This bodes well to enable organizations to serve their customers even more efficiently and meet the business’ requirements in an even more agile way. Stepping up to take advantage of hybrid clouds can be an important first step on this path.
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