The Business Case for Hybrid Cloud

Managing the Changing IT Landscape: Cloud Computing

I recently read the IT Peer Network blog series, Cloud Consumption Model Countdown, which offers insights on cloud trends for business and IT. Hybrid cloud has recently become a top business strategy for the enterprise, and with good reason.    It combines the security and control of the private cloud with the cost benefits and scalability of the public cloud.

Hybrid-Cloud_Graphics_650x400.jpgThe hybrid cloud is coming fast. Organizations have evolved from the “thinking about it” phase to the “implementing it” phase—and revenues are set for big gainsIT Business Edge blogger Arthur Cole cites a publication from “Research and Markets” which predicts that “revenues (from hybrid cloud) are on pace to see more than 30 percent annual gains for the next five years” with a jump “from $21.27 billion in 2013 to $79.54 billion in 2018.”

It might just be the ideal cloud computing solution for the enterprise. But are we ready for it? Many IT managers are still trying to find the right cloud environment.

Hybrid cloud offers maximum flexibility for business leaders, IT

Other research published earlier this month provides valuable insight, especially for IT managers who are trying to make sense of new IT service models. Commissioned by Cisco, a Forrester study looked at the benefits and challenges of using infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) in a hybrid

cloud strategy.

The findings revealed that about half of U.S. and European enterprise ITDMs are using cloud IaaS, and there is interest “in a hybrid cloud approach to complement on-premises capacity, rather than replace it.” The following graphic shows a summary of the top anticipated benefits.

Four Benefits of Hybrid Cloud BarGraph.jpg

While the benefits might be clear, these IT leaders had concerns around security, as well as application integration, performance, and control. Nearly half of respondents are concerned about re-architecting business applications  to fit within the hybrid cloud. And security concerns topped the list…whether it’s enforcing security policies or figuring out how to secure data, efforts must align between the data center and the cloud.

Establishing an IT strategy for cloud

Despite these challenges, hybrid cloud might just be able to meet the unique needs of today’s enterprise—and organizations should plan for it.

In a previous blog, I pointed to a Forbes* article citing Gartner’s tech trends for 2014. And one of those trends pertains to the importance of hybrid cloud, despite the fact that it’s still evolving: “Enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration and interoperability is possible.”

This is the same approach that Intel IT took as its initial cloud computing strategy several years ago, followed by establishing a cloud architecture roadmap. Then, in 2012, we shared key insights for deploying hybrid cloud.

Taking the next steps

A good place to get started is the Hybrid Cloud Checklist, a three-step overview to making your hybrid cloud operational. The Intel Cloud Finder  is available to help you understand the evolving technologies and capabilities that relate to the cloud, and learn more about infrastructure-as-a-service offerings. And check out more cloud computing resources in the Intel IT Center.

Where does your organization stand on hybrid cloud?


Chris Peters is a business strategist with more than 21 years of experience ranging from Information Technology, manufacturing, supply chain, nuclear power and consumer products.

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