Storm Brews in the Hybrid Cloud

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

After getting their feet wet with private cloud installations, companies are now turning to hybrid cloud installations as a part of their IT systems. According to Gartner, up to 50 percent of large organizations will be using hybrid clouds by late 2017.

Hybrid clouds combine private cloud services with virtualized services offered by third parties. While they can reduce costs, many hybrid clouds are employed to contribute additional functionality. Adding features like increased automation for network and user setup, greater opportunities for users to self-support and more tracking capabilities absorbs much of the potential cost savings of hybrid systems over private ones. However, the hybrid cloud brings an additional benefit: agility.

With hybrid clouds, organizations can more easily tap into the latest technologies. This allows them to add applications based on a business’s need instead of being limited to what the company’s current private cloud infrastructure can support. The opportunity for agility poses a new challenge for IT organizations — being able to identify where more agile systems will be needed.

In some organizations, this will be solved by new business teams that exist in addition to the existing IT structure. These teams are able to identify business needs and start the process of testing solutions. After the initial stage, they can then serve as a go-between for the IT department that manages the infrastructure and the end users that benefit from the technology. Ultimately, the goal is to find a team that can work from business to technology instead of having the pure technology focus that is common in many IT departments. 

The transition to agile hybrid clouds isn’t only likely to affect companies and their IT departments, though. It also poses both threats and opportunities for cloud providers and IT vendors. Those that will survive the increased popularity of hybrid implementations will be the ones that know when to sell private cloud services and when to instead offer an outsourced solution.