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What are the business benefits of hybrid cloud?
Business decision-makers and IT leaders are typically looking for cost savings, increased agility and speed to market. In conducting research on the business benefits of private cloud, we came upon two reports that list some of the benefits mentioned above, but put them in an alternate perspective that is quite interesting.
The first list of benefits comes from a technical paper delivered at the 2012 International Conference on Economics, Business and Marketing Management in Singapore. It was titled Hybrid Cloud Considerations: Managerial Perspective and was delivered by three members of Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Here are the benefits of hybrid cloud cited by the authors, with minor editing for clarity:
- Balanced Approach: Hybrid cloud architecture has a potential to balance benefits and risks of its private and public segments. Managers should take advantage of beneficial features of private and public clouds, and minimize their disadvantages.
- Similarity: Cloud adoption is similar to outsourcing. This holds for both private and public segments of hybrid cloud architectures. Thus, information technology managers may utilize their outsourcing experience for faster and efficient adoption.
- Speed: Cloud-based architecture and services can be deployed relatively fast. Public clouds are specifically designed for fast deployment. There are also numerous readily available private cloud solutions.
- Ease of Deployment: New cloud-based services may be deployed with relative ease. Generally, adoption of new public cloud services or existing ready-to-use private cloud solutions is easy. Unfortunately, this does not hold for transfer of services.
- Savings: Elimination and/or transfer of costly cloud-based services to third-party providers may reduce costs.
- Scalability: Resources can be dynamically and timely scaled with increasing demand. Both hardware and software resources can be easily and dynamically scaled.
- Payments: Common payment model for cloud-based services is ‘pay-for-use.’ Users pay only for the resources they consumed. This is beneficial for short-term planning and cost estimates.
Our second interesting list of hybrid cloud benefits comes from an IDC report, previously quoted here, titled Journey to the Hybrid Cloud, by Melanie Posey from September 2013. Here are four business benefits noted by the author and summarized by us for this post:
- Leveraging existing IT Systems Investments: Hybrid cloud provides self-service “stretch” resources that augment what’s already in the enterprise data center, delaying or even eliminating the need for additional CAPEX in favor of an OPEX approach.
- Centralized governance, decentralized infrastructure: Hybrid clouds that tightly link the enterprise data center with public cloud resources, along with well-defined policies and processes governing access and use, ensure consistent IT governance while enabling location-agnostic flexibility.
- The right environment for the right workload at the right time: Hybrid cloud means a common architecture for both legacy and net-new cloud-native applications, with the ability to mix and match deployment environments based on specific performance, security and compliance parameters.
- Bridging the divide between IT and line of business: Hybrid cloud helps give each group what it wants: Security and control for IT operations and speed and agility for line-of-business operations. To the extent that IT can incorporate external public cloud services into formalized IT procurement, implementation and governance processes, IT becomes a facilitator of rather than a roadblock to more dynamically business-ready IT.
What are the business benefits that your organization is achieving or seeking to achieve in hybrid cloud? Please feel free to comment.