Pick & Mix: Finding the right combination of clouds for your business
Over the last three to four years there has been intense debate among CIOs and IT professionals about whether the hybrid cloud would ever become reality. Before then, hybrid cloud was little more than an intellectual creation, a theoretical concept with huge potential but little practice.
As cloud computing has evolved, we wanted to explore the current enterprise cloud strategies of 150 successful businesses with revenues of $1billion+ across the US and Europe to assess their adoption of hybrid cloud. What we found was a surprising level of maturity in the market.
The research, commissioned by Canopy and EMC and conducted by Forrester, found that as much as 58% of the respondents had already deployed some form of the hybrid cloud environment. While there was some debate over how to define hybrid cloud, organizations largely defined it as a cloud spread across multiple deployment models.
It’s a Multi-Cloud World
What we’re therefore seeing in the market is enterprises acknowledging that they have already followed a hybrid cloud path to support their digital transformation. They want to have all the benefits of cloud, yet in an environment which can flex to their multiple use cases and workloads. With so many different flavours of cloud on offer, organizations are choosing to mix and match these combinations of clouds – while trying to present this in a consistent way for end users.
Another aspect of the research found that hybrid cloud adopters identify many applications and workloads within their current service portfolio for hybrid cloud use, including much larger, secure, and enterprise-class workload types, such as backup and recovery, database, commerce software, and enterprise content management. With more traditional workloads being transitioned to hybrid cloud scenarios, it highlights the growing market confidence in allowing the hybrid cloud to deliver more services even among those where information and data have to be secure.
Hybrid Cloud - the critical enabler of digital transformation
One of the most important challenges for organizations is understanding how they can maximise their effectiveness while expanding their use of cloud services. If you consider that cloud enables a more agile business, and provides more innovation at lower cost, then the IT department needs an approach for mapping the application portfolio to the cloud and assessing where the opportunities and dependencies lie – in a multi-cloud context. This is something 32% of respondents said they had started to evaluate. As a business you may have applications you want to move to the cloud, some won’t even exist today, and others you’ll want to re-build.
Re-writing applications to scale is another interesting area highlighted by the research. Many enterprises are starting to take their customer-facing applications and rebuild them so they scale at the level of the internet (46% of respondents). It has huge potential to address the market on a global scale – it could be a retail banking app or an airline reservation app for instance.
A big question remains, though. If you offer new services to your customers and embark on digital transformation to create new value, you’ll be developing new ‘cloud-native’ applications from scratch – already adapted for the internet. However, you just can’t leave your traditional applications behind. So how can enterprises run these two types of applications in parallel – part of what is termed Bi-Modal IT?
Global businesses will need to integrate the two at all times – while in the medium term, moving the traditional applications to the new world. The IT department plays a pivotal role in managing these two parallel forces. It’s a tectonic shift that is starting to take place but will certainly create ripples for quite some time across the enterprise IT world.
- For more information on the Forrester report, ‘Hybrid Cloud Adoption Gains Momentum’ you can download it here.
- Look out for my next post on how IT’s role transitions to becoming a service broker.
- Webinars discussing the research.
- Slidedeck: The Hybrid Cloud, a critical enabler of Digital Transformation