Hybrid Cloud – The Game Changer In The Age Of The ‘Intelligent Industry’

Hybrid Cloud – The Game Changer In The Age Of The ‘Intelligent Industry’

Guest Author | Aug 02, 2021

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This editorial is written by Hon’ble Radhika Ramesh: Executive Vice President - Global Delivery Center Head, CIS India, Capgemini. 

Imagine this scenario: In the healthcare sector, data privacy is an area of concern. Privately-held compute resources may not be able to ensure data privacy, which is a critical element of patient safety and security. Hybrid cloud could be the answer to this. It is a holistic system that allows medical groups to retain patient data in a secure, private server under regulation while leveraging the advantages of a public cloud model.

And it isn’t just about data security. Businesses are gravitating toward hybrid models to reduce costs on local resources. Across all sectors, hybrid environments have been effective in improving computing and storage power and optimising the resources available in the private and public cloud.

Cloud computing and its relevance today

Let’s take a step back and understand Cloud to know better about Hybrid. Cloud computing refers to running workloads remotely over the internet in a commercial provider’s data centre. It works via a virtualised pool of resources available on-demand. It allows enterprises to curtail high-cost purchases in hardware, software or on-premise datacenters as the cloud will enable them to pay as they go instead of investing in on-premise servers.  

Cloud has become important because businesses can adapt faster to the dynamic business environment due to its agility, flexibility, and cost optimisation. In the age of the “Intelligent Industry,” with companies focusing on digitising their businesses with new approaches to technology, design, data, and communication to expand business, cloud will be crucial to progress.

Cloud computing started gaining momentum since about a decade. Per Gartner, companies spent $230 billion on cloud infrastructure in 2019, with estimated YoY growth of 20% each year. With the ability to reduce system build times from days to hours, the investment is worth it.

The emergence … and the rise … of hybrid cloud

There are three categories in cloud: Public Cloud, where resources are available over public internet; Private Cloud, where resources are available to select users over a private network; and Hybrid Cloud, which leverages the benefits of both – and has emerged as an industry gamechanger.

Hybrid cloud helps to deploy a website on public cloud to leverage on scalability and deploy the database on private cloud to comply with specific data privacy norms. Also, new applications and workloads can be designed by leveraging cloud systems for quicker go-to-market, thereby striking a balance between public and private cloud platforms.  

Given these benefits, hybrid cloud architecture is becoming the norm. Today, all hyper-scale service providers have developed their own Hybrid Cloud offerings – Amazon’s AWS outpost, Google’s Anthos, and Microsoft’s Azure Arc.

The reasons for the sudden rise of hybrid cloud are three-fold:

  • Service providers like Amazon and Microsoft have invested heavily in setting up availability zones across the globe, which meets the needs of global enterprises. These have enabled end-to-end proposition in bridging legacy systems and cloud.
  • Organisations migrating to cloud have benefited from its elasticity, enabling them to use only those resources they need now and scale up later when business ramps up. This is now a strong business case for CXOs to accelerate their cloud agenda.
  • The variety of platform-based services provided, which allows agile development of features and enhanced go-to-market capability, makes cloud adoption an attractive proposition for enterprises. Mapping cloud benefits to enterprise business requirements has become straightforward, thereby strengthening the business case for such transformation.

Hybrid cloud as a response to the business

Of late, the enormous explosion of data has created the need for building real-time analytics systems anchored on big data and the cloud. The demands of hyper-personalisation require Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to be applied to enterprise, supplier, and customer data to forecast and optimise supply chain or demand factors.

Agile methodology in software development, combined with the need to build anytime-anywhere technology, has pivoted enterprises towards a “Cloud First” strategy. Clearly, enterprises that embrace cloud and digital transformation are better prepared to handle crises, while others may have no option but to embark on rapid cloudification.

Take COVID, for instance. As companies switched to cloud-based applications, it clearly illustrated the strength of the cloud in enabling remote work because the agility offered is similar to on-premise infrastructure. For example, as enterprises were forced to deploy tools like Teams rapidly, the shift to hybrid-enabled operations – which generally took about 4-6 months – was executed in only a few weeks.

The challenges … and the way ahead

Not all enterprise systems are cloud-ready, and hence the need to strike the right balance. For instance, enterprises may have invested in their own datacenters or in private clouds with a certain lock-in period due to CAPEX, license, or contractual reasons. Else, there may be some legacy applications and hardware that cannot be seamlessly migrated to the public cloud.

In the era of the cloud, cost optimisation will be crucial for adoption. By moving to an OPEX model, enterprises can address their technical limitations via hybrid cloud adoption. Also, security will be vital to cloud adoption. As services get added, they should be constantly monitored across infrastructure, networks, apps, and data security. Integrated solutions that seamlessly manage multi-cloud or hybrid environments, bundled with holistic security solutions, should address most security concerns as they emerge.

In today’s age of digital transformation, the cloud is clearly the way forward.

Designs by – Ashit Sahu

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