Opinion

Hybrid cloud and the remote reality

Rajiv Sodhi | Updated on September 10, 2021

Succeeding in a hybrid world   -  /istock

The model will drive profitability and lower compute costs for firms

As businesses shift priorities to enable remote work, it’s time to take advantage of cloud innovation, and maximise existing on-premise investments, by relying on an effective multi-cloud, multi-edge, hybrid approach. The next phase in digital transformation is the flexibility to innovate anywhere, meet evolving business needs, and empower people to invent with purpose.

Post-Covid, it is going to be even more important to enhance cloud adoption. The hybrid cloud provides consistency and flexibility to meet these dynamic and diverse business needs.

A hybrid cloud leverages on-premise infrastructure — or a private cloud — and public cloud and enables data and applications to move between the two environments. It empowers organisations to enable remote work, take advantage of cloud scale, innovation, and modernise and maximise the existing on-premise investments. With hybrid cloud, businesses can innovate anywhere, across their data centres, multi-cloud, and edge environments, in a holistic, seamless, and secure way.

However, there are a few parameters — such as regulatory requirements, security, stringent latency, and connectivity — that need to be assessed.

Some regulated industries — such as BFSI, government, and healthcare — require certain types of data to be stored on-premise while allowing less sensitive data to be stored on the cloud. For enterprises, it’s a hybrid approach to cloud that makes most sense as it offers them a combination of public and private cloud systems — the best of both worlds. The hybrid innovations can support businesses where they are, providing consistency and flexibility in meeting business needs and empowering them to invent with purpose.

With an effective strategy and the right tools, there’s enormous potential for innovation and growth with a hybrid environment.

Modernising facilities

Complex or traditional IT systems of organisations can be modernised with hybrid cloud to transform their approach to product or solution development and bring speed and scale to their existing practices. Enterprises are increasingly turning to hybrid cloud models to modernise their infrastructure for flexibility in workload placement without compromising on performance and security.

Consider the example of a global financial services company that was managing approximately 80 web apps across 10 countries. They needed to modernise their apps and development approach. For this they leveraged hybrid cloud to bring speed and scale to their existing practices. Implementation of hybrid cloud enabled them to add new services without needing to rework their existing applications.

Organisations using hybrid cloud platforms can store data in their on-premise data centres as well as on the cloud. Hybrid cloud also empowers organisations with the flexibility to optimise their architectures best suited to their specific needs, including the flexibility to select services based on features or costs.

This enables businesses to optimise capital expenditures while avoid the costs of unused digital capacity, paying only for resources that are consumed. It also delivers better ROI for organisation for their on-premise investments by modernising existing data centres and traditional apps. This has given rise to the use of Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) solution among businesses. These solutions provide cost-efficient IT infrastructure resources — with native hybrid capabilities — to remote locations, improves storage availability and resilience, and streamlines distributed workloads. Based on pay-as-you-go subscription model, the HCI solutions deliver flexibility and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

Organisations that use a hybrid cloud platform are able to use many of the same security measures that they use in their existing on-premise infrastructure — including security information and event management (SIEM) capabilities. In fact, some organisations find cloud hybrid security to be superior to that of their on-premise data centre because of latest updates, automated data redundancy, high availability, disaster recovery, and cybersecurity features. With unified hybrid security management, companies gain advanced threat protection for all their workload across both private and public cloud environments. A leading BPM solutions provider implemented hybrid cloud to ensure the security of their enterprise data in the remote work setup. The company aimed at moving its sensitive data through its data centre using desktop and app virtualisation service that runs on the cloud. Use of hybrid cloud simplified BYOD implementation for the company while providing enterprise-grade security.

A hybrid strategy provides a bridge that connects on-premises data to new cloud-based capabilities across AI and advanced analytics, allowing customers to modernise their services and unlock innovation. With virtualised environments, they can accelerate testing and evaluation cycles, and enable deployment seamlessly across different locations. A leading Indian multinational corporation achieved 33 per cent reduction in its product release cycle time after migrating its AI platform to a hybrid environment. Post migration to the cloud, teams realised significant benefits, including increased productivity, effective collaboration, and seamless cross-functional communication.

Hybrid cloud empowers organisations by strengthening remote work, augmenting product and service innovation, and maximising existing on-premise investments. With more organisations coming onboard the hybrid cloud, it is bound to become the quintessential instrument of lowering compute costs and driving profitability while ensuring high availability levels in the future.

The writer is COO, Microsoft India

Published on September 09, 2021

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