Almost a decade ago, when public cloud services started with AWS leading the pack almost a decade ago, the talk was all about the ‘pay as you go’ model with start-ups and mid to small-sized organizations catching the bandwagon in the first phase. Enterprises started off their public cloud journey late owing to security and other concerns or perhaps they wanted to be careful about the public cloud adoption.
The last few years or so, however, have been phenomenal in the enterprise cloud adoption with most of them going from ‘if’ to a ‘cloud first’ strategy. However, the only difference is that they consider the hybrid cloud as the future instead of going for a completely private or public cloud model. As organizations worldwide continue to accelerate their pace toward cloud services, the question in everyone’s mind is – how to embark on the cloud journey?’
According to a study conducted by a renowned market research organization, the hybrid-cloud market is expected to grow to $400 billion by 2020. Likewise, another research organization forecasts that 28% of IT spending will be on cloud services by 2022. It also says that 90% of enterprises will have some form of hybrid cloud by 2020. The evolution of IoT and Digital initiatives into the mainstream differentiation strategy for enterprises is constantly pushing the need for new, scalable, and agile architectures that are not possible without taking hybrid cloud into consideration in some form or the other.
Whether it is something as critical as disaster recovery or as complex as offering new services, organizations are investing on hybrid-cloud architectures to innovate faster while sharing what needs to be shared and keeping private what must be secured. Big Data and mobility can’t thrive solely on a single deployment model and needs the scalability along with artificial intelligence -driven features of public cloud combined with high-value business applications residing in the private cloud. The advent of edge architecture also would need similar hybrid scenarios to provide intelligent services cost-effectively, but at the same time without latency and manual processes. A combination of public, private, and legacy IT services makes the journey toward IT estate simplification a complex one. Finding the right hybrid mix is perhaps the most important dilemma that most enterprises are encountering today.
Finding the Right Fit
While the technology base itself is getting diverse with containers, platforms, and other innovations, vendors are also forming new partnerships to introduce services that further complicate this decision-making. For instance, VMware-AWS, GCP partnerships, Microsoft’s Azure Stack, AWS Outposts, or IBM’s ICP offerings that are trying to let customers have the best of both worlds – scalability and other advantages of the public cloud alongside control of the private cloud, but have some unique services and advantages of their own with a common base. So, while ‘cloud first’ is now established, customers have a lot of choices and don’t necessarily need to commit all their workloads to a single deployment model. What they need to ascertain is what would be the best fit for their business and how to procure the skills and decide between build vs. buy paradigms. Lastly, any and every enterprise today is expected to have a more complex IT estate than ever before. Years of investment on multiple tools, platforms, deployment models, and architectures are further aggravated with spending on siloed infrastructure results in this complexity. Therefore, it is imperative that enterprises should now have a clear hybrid strategy based on the foundation of solid assessments, roadmaps, business objectives, and most importantly, keeping some room for error and course corrections. As we move further into the hybrid world, a tectonic shift is imminent in the way licensing, cost models, security, and compliances are being done. The complexity of this ecosystem can be managed with talent that has both the technical know-how and business understanding. Recognizing the central theme around which this is built will be the key to its success and will differentiate leaders from the laggers.