Around 90% of UK organisations use Cloud computing. As a standalone stat, that seems pretty impressive, but perhaps a little misleading. What it actually means is 90% of organisations are using the Cloud for at least one essential service or application – not all of them. In fact, although Cloud computing has created a fast-track to business transformation through IT, it doesn’t always have to be the answer and it doesn’t have to be the answer right now.
Cloud isn’t an all or nothing proposition. You don’t need to relocate every critical application to the Cloud if you are to realise the benefits. Cloud computing has an important role to play alongside legacy systems – providing scalable capacity during busy periods and helping organisations to generate additional value from an ageing infrastructure.
The transition from on-premise to Cloud is not something that occurs overnight. As organisations adopt new technologies, retire old ones, establish a private Cloud or experiment with moving non-essential services to a public Cloud, they are creating a hybrid infrastructure.
However, hybrid is not simply a transitory state. For most organisations, hybrid is not a journey – it is the destination. The make-up of the hybrid environment will change over time. As a greater proportion of services are moved to the Cloud, the composition of public and private Cloud services will also change. Rarely will the end game be an exclusively Cloud-based infrastructure.
Hybrid offers the best of all worlds – the agility and affordability of public Cloud, combined with the compliance and security of private Cloud and the control and convenience of on-premise solutions.
The inherent flexibility and scalability of Cloud services means organisations can make the move to Cloud at their own pace. Trial services on a temporary basis, add services incrementally as legacy systems reach end-of-life and add capacity during periods of high demand without over-committing capital expenditure.
A hybrid approach to IT can help mitigate the risk associated with change. Running Cloud alongside legacy systems minimises the need for on-premise systems integration, reduces the overall investment risk and helps maximise returns on legacy equipment.
Cloud offers a way out of systems sprawl and the complexity that often plagues larger on-premise estates. Moving the right data and applications to the Cloud can generate immediate improvements in responsiveness, accessibility and resilience.
Fluctuations in demand for technical resources can arise for a number of reasons – seasonal variation, crisis management, on-boarding new services, addressing new markets and more. A hybrid approach to infrastructure will allow your organisation to add Cloud capacity alongside existing services to accelerate development times, maintain quality of service and minimise financial risk.
Rapidly growing organisations wishing to maintain service quality can leverage a hybrid infrastructure to ensure resource availability and avoid step-changes in service provision that can result in inefficient periods of under or over-capacity.
As big data becomes an integral part of everyday operations, many organisations will opt to outsource expensive on-premise storage capacity and resource-intensive back-up and recovery processes. Hybrid cloud provides burstable storage capacity and reliable file back-up without adding significant latency to the network.
FINDING THE RIGHT PARTNER
Wherever you are on your journey to the Cloud, choosing the right Cloud service provider can make the difference between a smooth journey or not getting there at all.
The right partner doesn’t need to be a Cloud only provider. Without on-premise experience, your provider may have a limited perspective and not know how to extract the best value from your legacy systems. A hybrid infrastructure requires an understanding of both.
Extending the life of your existing systems is a core component of systems integration; it is rare that a technology change requires a complete rip-and-replace solution, so legacy systems and process integration play a major role in maximising your return on investment.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of hybrid Cloud, or you would like to discuss your own journey to the Cloud, contact ONI on 01582 429 999 or firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively, visit: www.oni.co.uk/solutions-services/nimbus-recover