In their flight to the “cloud,” enterprises pass through four stages: cloud beginners, cloud watchers, cloud focused, and cloud explorers. In the past five years, enterprises and mid-level businesses have matured in terms of their cloud adoption.
Particularly, in the present times, enterprises are moving to a hybrid cloud model, wherein they leverage the flexibility of choosing the ideal deployment models based on workloads, key business goals, and workgroups.
Global Industry Analysts analysis of hybrid cloud market, trends, and forecasts, published in its report titled “The Global Hybrid Cloud Market” offers interesting facts and figures.
HPE also commissioned Forrester Consulting to study and survey enterprises across industries and to understand the state of hybrid cloud adoption (unfortunately, no one is studying why movies like “Fist Fight” have such explicit scenes of human body parts and why Hollywood has been going this route, but that is another topic!). These are just a couple of research efforts that have showcased how big hybrid computing is, and how much bigger it is going to be.
Let’s take a look at a couple of stats from Rightscale 2017 State of the Cloud report:
- In 2016, 82 percent of representative enterprises had multiple cloud accounts, and in 2017, the number is 85 percent.
- On average, enterprises are running apps in 1.8 public clouds and 2.3 private clouds.
It’s remarkable how the hybrid cloud model has become such as success in spite of all the talk about how the complexity is too much to manage (though nothing is as complex as the conversation between Neo and The Architect in “Matrix Revolutions,” well, nothing accept the tax code!). Let’s understand some of the most noteworthy patterns and trends that are shaping the hybrid cloud market.
Overcoming the anxiety around hybrid cloud’s complexity
Forrester Consulting’s survey revealed that 56 percent of surveyed enterprises already had multiple cloud solution providers. This is in contrast to the sentiment that the complexity of the hybrid cloud is a deterrent for enterprises.
Executives and decision makers from IT teams cited how the hybrid cloud enabled the enterprises to leverage better data management, improved compliance and security, and upgraded IT infrastructure management. Enterprises are increasingly adopting the approach of piecing together the best of public and private cloud services for cost effective solutions.
With more case studies, ample experiences (both good and bad) for enterprises as well as cloud service providers, and maturing cloud technologies, there is better and wholesome understanding of how enterprises can implement hybrid cloud model for best results.
Public cloud solutions have proven their worth over time for mobile applications and the Internet of Things. Private cloud’s control and security levels make it the ideal platform for contact center and mission-critical business applications.
E-commerce solutions along with niche marketing tools are best utilized via Software as a Service models. All mission critical and sensitive applications are best deployed on-premises. The stratification and maturity of the body of knowledge around hybrid cloud has advanced, so that the next wave of hybrid cloud adoptions will yield better success ratios.
Seamless cloud migrations – a success factor for the future
The pace of hybrid cloud adoption is on the rise, and that’s in spite of the fact that these deployments have a lot of moving parts, and hence rife with a lot of complexity. Forrester’s research also outlined the same. In such a scenario, the capability to migrate workloads based on the most suited cloud platforms, and to dynamically relocate workloads based on capacity availability, gives confidence to enterprises.
This realization is likely to reflect in the way cloud vendors align their products in the near future. Like we said, enterprises want the flexibility to constantly make course corrections in their hybrid cloud journeys, and vendors that can offer the flexibility have massive business to gain.
Looking beyond price points
The traditional belief has been that cost advantages drive enterprises to cloud solutions. The latest surveys and research efforts, however, suggest that cost is just one of the factors, and not the only one. Enterprises are looking beyond their wallets while choosing their hybrid cloud components.
Other considerations are centered on the availability of security tools that can be operationalized across public, private, and traditional IT ecosystems. Ease of integration with existing IT applications is also important, as is the ability to re-align the choices of public and private cloud tools based on performance, fulfillment of business goals, and costs.
Vendor participation and accountability
Enterprises are faced with the choice to move thousands of applications to public or private clouds. This is a massive decision, and one that enterprises are not yet willing to take without adequate education and participation from IT service vendors.
So, enterprises are not only using third-party software and platforms, but also involving multiple third-party vendors in their hybrid cloud strategy discussions, with focus on understanding what works best for them. Considerations such as managed support, strategic inputs, and ongoing support are critical for enterprises, and reflect in the verbiage of the hybrid cloud contracts they’re entering into with vendors.
More confidence in software-driven managed hybrid cloud services
Enterprises are looking for software-driven and managed services for consistent hybrid cloud returns, irrespective of the underlying infrastructures. Completely software-driven managed service platforms are replacing the simplistic self-service portals that enterprises used until now. What makes managed hybrid cloud service desirable for enterprises are factors such as:
- Consistent service level agreements irrespective of deployment models.
- Automated migrations and seamless portability of workloads.
- Governance, risk, compliance across the enterprise.
Taking the leap
Cloud platforms offer sensational cost and functional advantages that are too profound to ignore for enterprises. However, one size does not fit all, and, hence, hybrid cloud is a trend for the present and will be a sweeping reality in the near future.
Enterprises are looking to move hundreds of applications to private and public cloud domains, and willing to replace dozens of others with SaaS solutions from cloud vendors. The ensuing complexity is massive, but is not deterring enterprise from taking the leap. These hybrid cloud trends put things in perspective, and will help you understand and anticipate how things will pan out in the next few years.
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