Companies have finally woken up to how they can truly reap the benefits of the cloud. On its arrival, the cloud promised to transform businesses with speed, security and scale. However, it can only achieve these benefits if the fit is right and for many enterprises, it’s like squeezing a square peg into a round hole. Many businesses entirely migrated to the cloud, typically choosing only one cloud vendor, and as a result, suffered big financial losses because they didn’t listen to their business’ needs.
However, now enterprises have started to adopt a hybrid approach; mixing both cloud platforms and data centres. While data centres have previously been shunted for the cloud, with claims that they’re expensive and rigid, they actually serve a great purpose. The rebirth of the data centre has provided enterprises with the most valuable asset: choice. Understanding the different facets of the business and how those individual parts can benefit from the cloud or a data centre gives executives the choice to combine the two approaches together to formulate a strategy that is cost effective as well as secure and efficient. As such, companies are now reassessing their strategies and ditching the cloud-only approach for something more flexible.
In this current climate, security is a primary concern for all businesses. There are many different security requirements for a business today, and as criminals get smarter, a single open door to all internal data is at risk of attack. One cloud provider simply cannot keep up with the changing nature of criminal behaviour so implementing a multi-cloud approach is a necessity rather than a luxury.
Further, adding more layers of security to an on-prem solution is also a wise idea for companies wanting to protect their internal assets. Many services are at different stages of their life cycle and as a result, not suitable for a full migration to the cloud. Combining the two together – hybrid and multi-cloud – will create a stronger resistance against a cyber breach.
A more agile approach
Many public clouds are guilty of locking companies into their network and not giving them the option to choose how they want to benefit from the cloud. For businesses that migrated completely to the cloud, they now find themselves in the position where the cloud is dictating their strategy rather than the other way around. For example, if the network went down this could cause huge problems for a company that relies on one cloud provider completely. A major cloud provider promises 99.99% SLA uptime reliability however, that one hundredth of a percent which translates to an hour of downtime a year, can have huge repercussions on a business. Instead, having a hybrid approach, companies can mitigate their risk and keep their customers happy.
A key benefit of the cloud is that it is typically quite in-expensive. For smaller companies that don’t have the initial capital to invest in the up-front expenses of servers, storage and infrastructure, a public cloud offers a flexible option that can be expanded or reduced at any point. However, the ongoing operating expenditure (OPEX) regularly catches companies out and costs can secretly ramp up. For companies that have migrated their whole data centre to the cloud, these costs can be extremely high given the high volume usage of the cloud.
Enterprises like Dropbox who repatriated from the cloud and saved $74.6m in operation expenses, have found that data centres can in fact become more operationally cost effective. By investing in data centres and infrastructure and managing it themselves, companies will regain more power and control over their spending.
The cloud offers a variety of great benefits for companies to become efficient, secure and agile and it will always be useful. However, with business needs changing at rapid speeds it’s no longer the best option to rely on one approach. A hybrid model that gives business leaders the power to decide what they can use on prem and in the cloud is the most effective approach and will ensure better protection for the business.