Gartner predicts that almost half of large enterprises will be engaged in a combined, public/private cloud operation, often described as "hybrid" cloud computing, four years from now. Enterprises are increasingly looking to private clouds to keep some of their core assets under their control while still moving to a cloud environment. According to the Cisco and Wipro commissioned Forrester Consulting study, hybrid cloud is becoming the new normal.
Hybrid combines the use of on-premises cloud infrastructure with cloud service provider infrastructure to create a firm’s overall capacity from the combined capabilities. IT decision-makers report greatest interest in using IaaS in a hybrid cloud approach to complement on premises capacity, rather than replace it, and are planning for the impact that it will have on network operations and spending. While a hybrid approach promises cost savings and significant gains in IT and business flexibility, some concerns remain around how to manage and integrate on-premises infrastructure with cloud services in a hybrid cloud architecture.
Organizational resistance to expanding internal IaaS use is mostly due to concerns over security, data management, and availability/ performance. However, findings of the Forrester study indicate that IaaS use will continue to grow across the region as business and technology decision makers rationally seek public cloud based services that meet needs not met by internal IT.
Historically, costs have been the initial motivator for virtualization and cloud adoption, but Forrester Consulting found that flexibility is at par with cost as a primary driver for a hybrid cloud approach. More than half of those planning to use or using IaaS see "on-demand flexibility for hosting workloads on-premises or at a cloud service provider" as a key benefit of going hybrid with their IaaS strategy. Flexibility to respond quickly to business needs also topped the list of key benefits associated with a hybrid model.
According to Gartner, organizations that are well on their way with private cloud projects rarely consider technology the major issue. Certainly the technologies to deliver private cloud are relatively immature and evolving, and many enterprises find that custom work is required to meet their needs, but much more difficult are the transformational adjustments needed to use the technology. Cloud services require operational processes that are designed for speed and customized for the services offered. An ingrained IT culture focused on technical expertise doesn't fit a fully automated, self-service model that requires a service-oriented, team approach.
IT decision-makers will look to find solutions to the challenges with existing tools and skills and explore new offerings that make it easier to address the challenges of using a hybrid cloud strategy because hybrid cloud adoption is inevitable. What do you think about hybrid cloud adoption?