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Transitioning to the Hybrid Cloud

pillar hybrid cloud

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth a number of unprecedented challenges to various types of industries. As many organizations continue the transition from office spaces to remote work environments—executives are experiencing an increasing amount of pressure to accelerate digital transformation as a means of continuing business operations. 

For many businesses, a move to the cloud is the only path organizations can take moving forward. The pandemic further increased the need to make quick IT decisions and complicated issues with VPN, encryption, compliance around data and more, thanks to a completely remote workforce. Business and IT leaders are now forced to create strategies that take into consideration the need to have on-prem, public cloud and private cloud solutions that work together to meet employee needs as well as optimize customer experience.

Here are some drivers of hybrid cloud initiatives shaping business decisions:

  • 80% of companies expect modernization efforts to be accelerated due to unforeseen changes brought about by the pandemic
  • 80% of enterprise applications remain at on-site premises because many systems are currently unsuitable for the public cloud due to various security, regulatory compliance, and performance capabilities (McKinsey & Company)
  • Only 20% of all enterprise applications are performed strictly in the cloud (Forrester Research)

Many enterprises have discovered they lack the appropriate network infrastructure necessary to support running various applications. Many companies utilize legacy systems and outdated technologies that may need to be replaced or updated in order to accommodate modern-day systematic functions.

If your business is looking to begin it’s hybrid cloud journey but doesn’t know where to begin—our guide will provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary to address any questions and concerns your business may have. We’ll help you get the most out of your cloud infrastructure using a pragmatic and actionable approach to hybrid cloud transition.

Your Business May Be Using Cloud Technology, but Have You Optimized your Environment with Hybrid Cloud?

The hybrid cloud provides a forward-thinking approach to help businesses improve scalability and flexibility. As a computing environment—the hybrid cloud offers several benefits by allowing data and applications to be shared amongst various stakeholders. The hybrid cloud provides businesses with the ability to scale applications and systems by bringing elements of public cloud, private cloud and on-prem infrastructure together so they can interact with each other.

Hybrid cloud solutions can help reduce capital expenditures while freeing up resources for other critical operations. With its ability to improve organizational agility while freeing up other applications—the hybrid cloud provides a number of benefits your organization may be unaware of. If your company is looking to reduce capital expenditures while improving security and scalability—the hybrid cloud is the first step towards establishing functional business resiliency. 

Below is some valuable insight on hybrid cloud technologies revealed by the 2019 Nutanix/Vanson Bourne survey of 2650 IT decision makers.

  • 85% of businesses found hybrid to be the “ideal operating model”
  • 49% of people discovered the hybrid cloud helps meet the various needs of their business
  • The three biggest factors driving the hybrid cloud movement include: security, flexibility, and the ability to accommodate multiple cloud options
  • 72% of the respondents claimed digital transformation has been the biggest factor driving cloud deployments
  • 64% of respondents believe digital transformation is their company’s top business priority

The hybrid cloud provides companies with the ability to improve performance, increase security, modernize applications, and enjoy cost savings. As the pandemic continues—the need for hybrid cloud strategies will continue to expand. 

Key Cloud Trends for 2020

As cloud computing continues to be firmly established as the new normal for enterprise IT across industries—the cloud will remain one of the fastest-growing segments of IT expenditures. As a result CIOs must develop a formalized strategy that places individual cloud decisions within the context of enterprise strategic goals.

Cost optimization will be an imperative factor for driving cloud adoption. In fact, multi-cloud strategies will reduce vendor dependency in two-thirds of organizations through 2024. Furthermore, Gartner suggests that insufficient cloud IaaS skills will delay cloud migration by two years or more through 2022. Decision-makers and business leaders should practice their due diligence when it comes to addressing the trends related to cloud technologies.

The Imperative for IT Modernization

Addressing outdated legacy infrastructures continues to be the top challenge and key investment for organizations in 2020 and beyond. As such, the journey toward digital transformation is not possible until decision makers develop forward-thinking strategies to address the ever changing business climate.

IT must play an integral role in business operations instead of simply “keeping the lights on” thereby acting as a central service provider and facilitator that enables innovative tactics. As such, IT is quickly becoming the main engine that keeps businesses thriving and moving forward (Gartner 2019).

IT functions are under unrelenting pressure to support leading-edge capabilities using tools such as data analytics, cybersecurity, automated processing, and integration with third-party systems. The most pragmatic way for organizations to do this is by using platforms that connect all users to an environment that’s optimized by using on-prem, public and private cloud solutions.

Customer expectations are continuing to evolve into a state of constant change. To create the most advanced, hyperconnected, seamless experiences—it’s imperative for companies to stay at the cutting edge of technology.

How the Pandemic is Accelerating Hybrid Cloud Adoption

how the pandemic is accelerating hybrid cloud adoptionThe COVID-19 pandemic brought forth unforeseen challenges among business owners and decision-makers. As a result, businesses have been forced to evolve in order to keep operations moving forward. In fact, over 80% of companies expect to accelerate digital transformation efforts due to changing technology priorities brought forth by the pandemic. 

The hybrid cloud is a valuable and dynamic strategy designed to adapt to dynamic workloads with a sense of flexibility and scalability. The COVID-19 crisis has helped to establish cloud-based best practices for the future while further supporting remote operations and capabilities. 

The immediate surge in remote work has expedited the need for teleconferencing, virtualization applications and increased cybersecurity. Many organizations have moved some of their workloads to the cloud but now realize there is a need to create a strategy specifically for their business to allow data and applications to be shared seamlessly. A hybrid cloud solution can help solve this dilemma

How Hybrid Cloud Maximizes Business Efficiency

The hybrid cloud helps companies maximize business efficiency utilizing various tools and services. According to Rightscale, “Companies are prioritizing hybrid and multi-cloud options while capitalizing on private and public cloud solutions from multiple vendors; on average, companies run 4.9 private and public clouds.” 

The hybrid cloud will experience a period of tremendous growth over the next five years. In fact, over 85% of businesses have selected the hybrid cloud as the ideal IT operating model due to its various security, flexibility, and expanding options. 

Integration of cloud-based technologies helps provide businesses with a platform that enables growth and expansion. It helps improve business processes through several mechanisms, including:

  • Improved data compliance and performance
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Modernized technology instead of traditional archaic legacy systems
  • Can lead to a better customer experience

The hybrid cloud is uniquely able to leverage technology that drives growth while enabling innovative strategy. With modern system integration strategies—the hybrid cloud helps improve business processes in the following ways:

  • Faster deployment capabilities 
  • Scalable technology
  • Better segmentation

There are many advantages to hybrid cloud technology; it gives the business unmatched agility and the ability to move data and apps seamlessly. Companies can use the technology to increase security, improve the use of analytics, increased flexibility of data and easier software rollouts. Hybrid cloud environments enable organizations to create solutions that are flexible and tailored to their specific organizations needs.

Migration to the Hybrid Cloud

The first step toward digital transformation is transitioning to the hybrid cloud. As the model organizations are deploying to begin and evolve their digital transformation journeys—hybrid cloud technologies are defined as cloud computing environments that utilize on-premise data servers, private cloud technologies, and public cloud services across the platforms.

The first step in the hybrid cloud journey is assessing your data backup strategy. Permitting workloads to move between private and public clouds—the hybrid cloud helps provide businesses with increased flexibility and additional data deployment options. The hybrid cloud model lets businesses choose the best cloud-based options to run various workloads while managing critical application data. 

Optimizing workload performance is essential whether it be on-premise, at data centers, private cloud, or using a public cloud. The 4 key criteria being used include:

  • Latency and performance issues
  • Accessibility functionality
  • Security features
  • Cost efficiency

Each of these factors help companies maximize performance metrics using individual workloads and requirements.

What to Look for in Hybrid Cloud Providers

hybrid cloud providersWith so many hybrid cloud providers on the market—it can be difficult to determine which one provides the right set of capabilities to meet the needs of each business. As an attractive option that combines the advantages of public and private clouds—the hybrid cloud enables organizations to effectively operate using scalable and flexible technologies.

Here are some important things to remember before transitioning to the hybrid cloud:

  • Understand your workloads: look to providers that will provide the services needed as your cloud environment evolves. Seek solutions that integrate with other platforms if allocating hybrid cloud contracts within a multi-cloud environment.
  • Assess performance: a provider should work with your business to determine what kinds of workloads your infrastructure should be optimized for. Consider potential latency issues and impacts and determine best strategies to reduce latency.
  • Use public and private infrastructures: hybrid cloud providers should be able to support technology options currently used with on-premise infrastructures. Keeping both infrastructures aligned will make it easier to migrate workloads between both environments.
  • Assistance with migration: ask potential cloud providers for assistance when it comes to migrating data and workloads. Migration tools should help map data between on-premises infrastructures.
  • Assess security: providers should be able to help you secure data in hybrid environments. Hybrid workloads help to protect sensitive information in cloud data centers while keeping track of records kept on premises. 

Organizations should practice their due diligence when it comes to seeking out appropriate options for cloud service providers.

Addressing the Shortage of Skilled IT Resources for Hybrid Cloud

Amid rapidly growing demand and complexity—a massive shortage of skilled Hybrid Cloud talent exist limiting the innovative abilities needed to achieve digital transformation initiatives. According to Wakefield Research, “94% of IT decision makers face barriers to cloud success, with a majority citing a shortage of talent as a top challenge.”

The continued push to move towards hybrid cloud environments is due to a shortage of skills and talent needed to help fuel digital transformation. In fact, over 86% of survey respondents are projecting that IT shortages will continue to slow down cloud-based project performance.

The hot job market for cloud expertise means employee turnover will be on the rise. A survey found that 86% of respondents are contacted by recruiters more than once per quarter. Younger IT employees are recruited at an even higher rate—with 50% of respondents under 40 being contacted by recruiters at least once per month.

Managed service providers (MSPs) have found that many organizations possess hybrid cloud ambitions beyond current capabilities. In fact, over three quarters of survey respondents believe hybrid cloud skills are required in order to achieve wide scale strategic goals. In fact, hybrid cloud ranks only behind artificial intelligence and machine learning in terms of desirable skill sets. Due to a lack of available IT talent—hybrid cloud activity may be limited to on-premise IT environments integrated within a single public cloud.

As consulting companies struggle to find talented individuals with relevant cloud-based skill sets, clients are continuing to fall short of cloud adoption objectives. To overcome the challenges of the workforce shortage—enterprises looking to migrate workloads to the cloud should enlist the help of managed service providers to help reach strategic goals.

According to Wakefield Research, “IT managers often face challenges on many fronts. Due to increasing pressure related to staff turnover, compliance mandates, and greater than expected effort required for cloud migration—we’ve discovered that over 40% of IT leaders plan to hire outside consultants in 2020.” That’s where TBC can help your organization reach its strategic goals.

How TBC Can Guide you Through the Hybrid Cloud Journey

Enterprises are looking to migrate workloads to the cloud using the help of managed service providers with a proven track record of successful migrations (Gartner). Managed service providers are experts in developing and integrating hybrid cloud solutions. MSPs are able to offer valuable ways to improve consistency and seamlessness between each cloud solution. During instances where hybrid solutions have not yet been established—MSPs can develop initiatives tailored to fit an organization’s current and future needs.

The MSP will be able to optimize and tighten the hybrid cloud to operate consistently using appropriate resources. When partnering with an organization like TBC, you have access to a group of experts that specialize in virtualization applications, data backup and recovery as well as cybersecurity. This sets TBC apart from organizations that specialize in a single solution. 

Beginning the path towards IT modernization requires an assessment of current technological needs and capabilities as well as cloud migration roadmap. TBConsulting identifies your systems, workloads, data storage, and applications within your digital environment. We create solution roadmaps that will help start you on the hybrid cloud journey.

Digital transformation is an ongoing process that requires constant attention throughout the entire lifecycle of the business. Companies should actively address the multi-factor accessibility and data storage needs of hybrid cloud technology while enhancing user experience and employee productivity.

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Our guide contains a wealth of resources that cover your company's preparedness for transitioning to the Hybrid Cloud as well as other key insights. Share it with colleagues and decision makers by downloading or sending the PDF version to them.