The cloud has become the central point of digital transformation, as many organizations are leveraging the cloud to better adapt to the current dynamic environment
Resilience has become an extremely important word in a time of crisis. We can see this trait emerging extremely strong in every aspect of life and business. Enterprises quickly adopted digital strategies to become resilient to the vast changes brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic. To quickly scale and adapt and launch new services or products quickly, many organizations started leveraging cloud environments. To further become more resilient and cut down risks, many organizations have started to balance the two worlds – on-premise and public clouds, and are now adopting a hybrid cloud model, which is a blend of the two models.
The hybrid cloud model has gained huge momentum, and is increasingly the model of choice for a huge number of organizations. This huge shift is caused due to a number of reasons. Firstly, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced organizations to diversify their risks and not put their IT infrastructure on any one model – be it on-premise or public cloud. The hybrid cloud is a perfect example of risk diversification. This is corroborated by research undertaken by different companies. The Enterprise Cloud Index, a study released by Nutanix in December 2020, found out that 63% of Indian enterprises increased their investment in hybrid cloud as a direct result of the pandemic compared to 46% globally. 2021 could be in fact the year of multi-cloud. Research firm, IDC, says that by 2022, more than 90% of enterprises globally will be relying on a mix of on-premises/dedicated private clouds, multiple public clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure need.
Besides risk diversification, there are a huge number of other factors that are encouraging enterprises to look at hybrid cloud models. With digital deployments having grown in size and scale, almost every business now has a digital strategy. The cloud has become the central point of digital transformation, as many organizations are leveraging the cloud to better adapt to the current dynamic environment. However, transitioning to the cloud can be a challenging task, and a lot of factors have to be considered. For example, for many organizations, there is a lot of doubt and confusion on the transition of their legacy IT applications to the cloud. Transitioning or hosting applications in the cloud can mean re-architecting the application or re-factoring the application to take advantage of the cloud. Many organizations hence want to test out the public cloud initially with some applications, before they completely transition to a public cloud environment. In such environments, a hybrid cloud makes perfect sense, as it gives these enterprises the capability to leverage both worlds. For these organizations, the hybrid cloud model is a stepping stone to the public cloud. In many cases, economics can also play a major role. A hybrid cloud model gives organizations the flexibility to choose the platform (on-premise or public cloud) depending on the economics or scale of the particular workload.
Latency and compliance are also among the key growth drivers for the preference for hybrid cloud deployments. Every country has different laws for compliance, and a hybrid cloud deployment allows organizations to ensure compliance with different laws in different countries. In the current times of the Covid-19 pandemic, where remote working is the norm, hybrid cloud deployments made possible by edge computing devices, can help in resolving latency issues, as information is processed closer to the devices that consume them. This conserves bandwidth and improves accessibility as it reduces the need for transmitting data to the cloud.
In the future, hybrid cloud deployments are expected to further accelerate, as more enterprises look at accelerating their digital transformation initiatives, while cutting down risk, and improving accessibility.
The author is Nitin Mishra, Head of Cloud services, NTT Ltd. In India
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