Agility and innovation today have become the mantra for business success. Since prospective and existing customers constantly seek differentiated offerings, more enterprises are turning toward agile solutions to enable change quickly–in a cost-effective manner–for boosting competitive advantage. Traditionally, IT teams would seek to roll out product releases involving new features or improvements on a quarterly basis, at the earliest. However, agile technologies can now facilitate innovation on a daily basis, allowing companies to learn from their mistakes quickly, and alter products and services accordingly.
To make changes at high speed, though, enterprises need flexible infrastructure like public and private clouds that can adapt as per demand. The choice of cloud would vary according to the application. For instance, applications with publicly accessible data, or those with varying demands, can benefit from public clouds that accept usage-based payment. On the other hand, private clouds are more appropriate for applications entailing constant demand, those that contain sensitive information and need to be safeguarded by firewalls. In order to support the continuous delivery initiatives of agile development teams, public and private cloud platforms are equipped to quickly set up virtual machines (VMs) and containers.
Hybrid cloud fueling digital transformation
Furthermore, digital transformation has today become a core business objective, with companies increasingly aiming innovate around their business and operating models. Agile development is one of the methods that can enable firms to differentiate. To effectively institutionalize these innovations, enterprises can harness the hybrid cloud strategy to execute multiple iterations quickly, while ensuring cost-effective operations and data flexibility.
Often, companies have an application portfolio that requires the use of both the public and private cloud platforms. A combintion of on-premise private cloud and third-party public cloud, hybrid cloud simplifies management of applications present in multiple locations. The single platform also enables companies to increase deployment flexibility of individual solutions.
Moreover, at different stages of the development lifecycle, the type of cloud required will vary. For instance, a consumer application may have a varying demand in the initial stages, and shift to steady demand after a while. Beside enhancing the digital strategy with minimized costs, this ability to port applications and workloads from one cloud platform to another makes hybrid cloud a more desirable option.
Nonetheless, several organizations remain cautious about cloud computing, owing to concerns around data safety and compliance. Hybrid IT allows them to retain some of the data on premise, while employing the cloud to store the rest of the data. As a result, firms can leverage the benefits offered by the cloud’s agility, whilst having better control of their information.
Using IoT and APIs in tandem with hybrid cloud
As the Internet of Things (IoT) drives interconnectivity of devices across enterprise networks, they serve as valuable data receptors holding information that can influence business outcomes. Cloud plays a significant role by providing scalability and cost efficiency in processing the data. Despite public clouds being ease to use, simple to install, and cost-effective, enterprise are realizing that a hybrid environment can foster improved performance while addressing concerns regarding security and control.
On the other hand, as the connecting channel between software and the digital experience, application program interfaces (APIs) distribute data to the various stakeholders including partners and customers. In addition, they ensure all sensitive information is secure. APIs also leverage data from varied sources such as intelligent interfaces including AI and machine learning, apps, on-demand channels, and personalized services. Hybrid cloud services rely on APIs to showcase particular business assets in public, while safeguarding private assets with a firewall.
A glimpse into the future
As cloud adoption becomes almost ubiquitous going forward, I expect hybrid to emerge as the most common format. Its inherent flexibility, combined with customized on-premise data storage, makes the hybrid cloud a sustainable, viable solution for the long term.