Cloud Computing transforms the IT infrastructure into a Utility, turning providers into “suppliers” of said service, just as gas, water, or electricity companies currently do. In IT, we support key processes that allow us to make a difference in managing our business processes and stand out from our competitors. Therefore, we should not take risks that lead us to lose these differentiations. In this context, the nuance of “Hybrid” in the Cloud makes perfect sense.
In what situations should we bet on the Cloud?
As a general rule, we could infer that we should keep under direct control in our Data Processing Centers, OnPremise, what is technologically key and differentiating for our business, or subject to technological conditions such as latency or data regulations; and take advantage of the Cloud when it is competitive.
These advantages can come from vendor economies of scale or special event management such as process spikes or disaster recovery.
Clear examples are found in Software as a service solutions, where the added value of a specific solution can be considered a “commodity” both for the industry and us, although sometimes it does not have to coincide; a clear example is office automation; which can also be highly relevant to a consultancy. Another example is that an ERP to control billing is a non-differential expense for certain companies and could be considered a “commodity.” For other companies, a high degree of “customization” can be considered a differentiation that makes this technology one of the keys to leading your sector/segment.
The technological context for the use of the Hybrid Cloud
We must bear in mind that, despite the imminent appearance of 5G technology and the deployment of the infrastructures of the HiperScalers, AWS, and IBM, there may be latency needs linked to IoT needs and data controls. Critical devices that need to be managed at the Edge, next to where data from those devices is collected and acted upon.
In any case, companies are looking for Hybrid Cloud solutions to improve the performance and efficiency of their IT operations. According to a prestigious consulting firm IDC study, 66% of companies plan to implement a Hybrid Cloud strategy in the coming years. This is so since Hybrid Cloud solutions allow companies to combine the advantages of the public Cloud with those of the private Cloud to obtain better performance and greater flexibility.
Companies like this can enjoy using the public Cloud to store and process data that is not as sensitive to security and use the private Cloud to store and process such more sensitive data. In this part, we could establish nuances and exceptions, such as clouds specially designed for regulated environments, such as the one IBM has for the financial sector with specific controls.
The flexibility of the hybrid Cloud as a business solution
The design of Hybrid Cloud solutions offers companies greater flexibility to adapt to fluctuations in demand for IT services; For example, if the demand for IT services increases, companies can use the public Cloud to increase performance, and if it decreases, they can reduce the use of the public Cloud and use the private Cloud where existing investments are already valued. Made.
The Hybrid Cloud allows companies to improve the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their IT operations, playing with the fixed and variable costs and the parameters of expenses and investments that can be especially relevant in listed companies to improve their ROA and their ROE.
Additionally, a good Hybrid Cloud design can provide better performance for certain IT operations since the public Cloud has a greater capacity than the private Cloud, as long as we need it and are willing to pay for it. Hence, even many of the investments in HPC are, in many cases reorienting and analyzing the use of the HyperScalers Cloud for certain loads.
In which cases to use the private Cloud
The private Cloud, either OnPremise or at the Edge, can provide a better response speed than the public Cloud due to its latency. Companies can use the private Cloud to store and process data that require those characteristics.
But let’s remember that Cloud is nothing more than a computing method with a higher degree of industrialization and automation. In this age where the extreme importance of data has been brought into the spotlight, from a single person’s digital drive to the sensitive data of a large bank, the Internet age requires that this data be transported fast, efficient and secure at all times, sometimes on a global scale.
In the 1990s and before, every company, no matter small or large, built its own private data centre to store its data. These data centres need to be constantly maintained and updated with the latest technical, electrical, etc. advances. and be geographically well located to supply data not only quickly and efficiently but also, with the best guarantees of business continuity, mandatory for regulated companies and necessary in most cases for fundamental business survival issues in the face of disasters. But, maintaining the CPDs (Data Processing Centers) is an arduous task, which consumes time and resources in companies and requires money in investments.
At this point, remember that it is necessary to maintain additional centres/spaces to maximize security, and this is not trivial; it is not cheap, and considerations of many types and different risks must be taken into account in communications, electrical supplies, possible floods, seismic, malware-ransomware, etc. For this reason, cloud computing, where the data centres are maintained by a cloud service provider that has various branch centres worldwide, can be vital to completing and complementing the digital transformation for any business in terms of operational risk of the Data Processing Centers refers.
In this context, Hybrid Cloud technology provides customers with cloud computing capabilities; that is, the characteristics of the hybrid Cloud facilitate disaster recovery and data backups and, therefore, facilitate business continuity management. This makes these operations more accessible and less expensive as the data can be replicated across multiple sites globally, hosted by the cloud provider.
They are making IT services based on container technology that adapts to the different public and private cloud infrastructures, such as those based on Red Hat OpenShift, to facilitate such adoption.
Software services in today’s market
Let us finally remember that, within cloud services, Software as a Service is the most represented. ERP-CRM services such as MS Business Central/Dynamics or Salesforce and Office suites such as MS O365 or Google Docs are among the most representative.
The second most demanded service is infrastructure as a service, followed by the rest of the services such as Business Process Services (BPaaS), Cloud Application Infrastructure Services (PaaS), Cloud Management and Security Services, and the smallest at the moment, but with excellent growth potential for Desktop as a Service (DaaS).