Hybrid Cloud Trends: Rapid Growth

More Enterprises Are Embracing A Hybrid Strategy

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Steven Lerner

hybrid cloud trends

Hybrid cloud has transformed into one of the most intriguing cloud computing environments in the enterprise. The concept of having two clouds (one that is private and one that is public) has apparently caught the attention of several IT leaders.

A July 2019 study from Information Services Group (ISG) found a rapid increase in hybrid strategies. What’s even more interesting is that 65% are already testing cloud database services, and another 72% are prepared to use blockchain as part of a cloud strategy.

At the end of 2018, Enterprise Mobility Exchange reported that 38% of enterprises are using hybrid cloud. It is possible that in 2019, more organizations have jumped into the hybrid cloud bandwagon.

What do these recent hybrid cloud trends say about the enterprise? Are the benefits of hybrid cloud setting up enterprises for success? What are the big challenges that are overlooked in this process?

Beyond Just Public Cloud

In recent years, enterprises have been relying on public cloud for applications. An IDC study from 2018 found that 58% of enterprises were already leveraging it for this purpose. However, the same study also described how 86% of enterprises were either considering or executing repatriation, which is moving workloads away from the public cloud.

A hybrid cloud strategy, using both public and private, can be very advantageous. Benefits of having a hybrid cloud include cost savings, scalability, adding control, better security, more agility, and added accessibility. The combination of leveraging innovative cloud computing systems while retaining legacy applications is certainly one of the big hybrid cloud trends.

Applications And Multi-Cloud

In addition to following a hybrid cloud strategy, more enterprises are also embracing multi-cloud, which involves using multiple cloud services. In fact, the ISG study concluded that many enterprises are relying on two or more different public cloud infrastructure providers.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is also becoming popular, with the majority of the respondents planning to use SaaS offerings for applications as early as 2021. This includes using multiple vendors who provide SaaS applications.

Despite the push towards multi-cloud and SaaS, there will likely be very few changes in application architecture, with 70% of respondents electing to keep systems the same for now. In the short term, it could be a challenge to harmonize new applications and cloud services with an older environment.

Cloud Entry Framework

Migrating applications and data to the cloud has its advantage and has become commonplace in the enterprise. However, there are complications, such as moving applications to the wrong cloud or migrations that take longer than expected.

Leveraging a cloud entry framework (CEF) is one way that enterprises can manage the process of migrating applications. However, the ISG study found that less than 6% of enterprises agree or strongly agreed with using CEF. Furthermore, less than 1% found this solution to be very or extremely important. Ignoring CEF is a potential cloud liability that could worsen the migration process.

"IT leaders need to control adoption of new services to avoid cloud sprawl, while allowing teams the flexibility to take advantage of new and powerful hybrid architectures," said Chris Germann, partner, ISG Enterprise Research. "One of the most underappreciated strategies is a cloud entry framework to provide clarity for long-term cloud adoption."

Cloud Challenges

Perhaps the most significant challenge for the cloud is still security. A 2019 survey from NetEnrich reflects this sentiment, with 33% of enterprises identifying security as the biggest concern for moving to the cloud. This is part of a larger trend that shows that security is one of the biggest risks in IT. In June 2019, Cyber Security Hub reported that 85% of enterprises expect the cloud to a bigger security threat.

Another growing challenge is with privacy, with one in five enterprises concerned about it. Organizations must incorporate strategies that protect data in the cloud computing systems. This is especially true for organizations in high-regulated industries.

Overcoming these challenges, especially regarding hybrid cloud trends, requires a implementation of the right solutions and calculated strategies that take into consideration all of these potential blind spots.