Demystifying the hype of the hybrid cloud

Cloud computing is shrouded in myth and decked in media hype. One such fallacy is that significant numbers of businesses today operate and oversee their infrastructure exclusively within a cloud environment. In a study of small to medium and public sector organisations in the UK undertaken by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) 84% of those polled were using some form of cloud-based service and 78% two or more services.

[easy-tweet tweet=”50% expect to move their entire estate to the #cloud at some point in the future” user=”comparethecloud” usehashtags=”no”]

In truth, many organisations are within, or are moving towards a hybrid cloud—maintaining and managing some resources in-house while using cloud-based services for others.

This research sees opinions evenly split on future trends; 50% expect to move their entire estate to the cloud at some point in the future, while the remainder cannot foresee such a modus operandi. At the present time most are a way off migrating their entire infrastructure to a cloud platform with just 15% of them considering their primary IT model to be the cloud.

cloud “isn’t yet all things to all men”

Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF, commented that the cloud “isn’t yet all things to all men” and that it will sit alongside on-premise solutions “for quite some time to come.”

The rush towards cloud-based outsourcing has lost momentum. Here are some reasons why…

False economy

The major argument for transitioning to a cloud platform is efficiency; shared resources are deployed as and when required, such that IT spend becomes an operating cost—no longer deemed CAPEX where hardware outlay is depreciated over time. Yet contractual service charges are not always preferable to hardware refresh in a climate of declining hardware costs.

Security concerns

[easy-tweet tweet=”75% of organisations stated they had security concerns in migrating specific applications to the #cloud” via=”no” usehashtags=”no”]

According to the CIF’s UK Cloud Adoption Trends for 2015 75% of organisations stated they had security concerns in migrating specific applications to the cloud and 59% reported concerns over data protection. The CFO’s arguments for improved efficiency are little comfort when concerns around maintaining levels of service, and worse still uncertainties in security and compliance, loom large.

A rationalised and deskilled workforce would ensue

Transition to the cloud will inevitably lead to labour lay-off and a deskilling of in-house resource. Removal of tried and tested methodology, together with technical team expertise and associated accountability seems a brash and unwise move.

Lack of visibility and desire to manage critical systems

A known factor in the reluctance of enterprises to embrace cloud technologies is that they have come to expect complete visibility of their infrastructure. A hybrid scenario allows on-premises IT services to be deployed for the most sensitive and critical workloads or for the organisation’s legacy systems and these can be monitored via conventional methods. The Mutiny Lite solution allows monitoring of up to 10 managed devices free of charge. Proactive network monitoring provides management of priority business services and notifications whenever they might be at risk. A colocation arrangement may be a sensible route to providing an optimal mix of control and capacity.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Hybrid take-up rates are not as high as once anticipated.” user=”comparethecloud” hashtags=”hybridcloud, cloud”]

Even hybrid take-up rates are not as high as once anticipated. Gartner previously estimated that 72% of companies would have put a hybrid cloud implementation strategy in place by the end of 2015. However, the latest insight has led them to announce that ‘while most companies will use some form of hybrid cloud computing during the next three years, more advanced approaches lack maturity and suffer from significant setup and operational complexity’. Gartner goes as far as to position the hybrid cloud in the ‘trough of disillusionment’ phase of the Gartner Hype Cycle. Until service providers reach new levels in functionality, security and visibility that is where it will firmly remain.

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