How will hybrid cloud applications impact your business?

By Jonathan Crowl

A woman sitting at a table using mobile devices that use a hybrid cloud application

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The promise of hybrid cloud solutions has always been tied to both versatility and flexibility. As business leaders get a better sense of how to apply these benefits to support day-to-day operations, adoption is growing. In fact, it isn’t just enterprise-scale organizations embracing the hybrid cloud. A report from Harvard Business Review reveals that even medium and small businesses are trying to jump on the trend.

Business leaders with at least one active hybrid cloud application have enjoyed a number of benefits. Nearly half of respondents to HBR’s report said that hybrid solutions significantly improved collaboration. Greater business agility, as well as improved capabilities for analyzing data and generating actionable insights also ranked high among what business leaders found most beneficial regarding this infrastructure approach.

While there are challenges to successfully implementing hybrid cloud solutions for a business, organizations are attracted to this approach thanks to the range of functionality and benefits that can enhance day to day operations. Here’s a look at a few ways enterprise organizations can expect to feel the impact:

Improved infrastructure for digitization

As organizations embrace mobile solutions to fuel more efficient, collaborative business strategies, they also need cloud-based solutions that allow employees to quickly access the tools they need while working on the go. Mobile enablement of employees can provide a boost to every facet of a company’s day-to-day operations, but this enablement requires access to enterprise data, third-party software and real-time intelligence.

Hybrid cloud solutions provide an infrastructure that supports the digitization of tools, data and other assets, and it also provides a system for delivering these solutions reliably and securely. With a well-managed hybrid cloud system in place, employees will have better mobile access to digital tools and support than they would have in the past. This will improve the efficiency and productivity of those workers, especially when they’re out of the office.

Increased support for innovative development

Creating large enterprise applications can be a time- and resource-intensive process. One of the goals of a hybrid cloud approach is to simplify the development process, accelerating the time it takes to bring a hybrid cloud application to market or make it available to your users. The hybrid cloud supports iterative development by partitioning large enterprise apps into smaller projects called “microservices.” These microservices can then be built and tested on their own before being brought together to form the final enterprise app.

Thanks to the hybrid cloud, large projects are much more manageable, and the prospect of these innovative projects is much less daunting for business leaders.

A better foundation for IoT integrations through hybrid cloud application

IoT solutions have a central role in the future of enterprise operations, whether they’re driving smart energy strategies, monitoring operations in real-time, managing logistics for fleets or performing any number of critical tasks. At its best, IoT can be a catalyst for operational efficiency, which can reduce expenses to create stronger profit margins. But implementing IoT solutions requires an environment that can manage and process enormous data streams traveling to and from IoT devices. In many cases, a hybrid cloud infrastructure is a perfect solution.

IoT solutions and apps also need to integrate seamlessly with existing business solutions and platforms. Hybrid cloud solutions offer the support required by IoT technologies, leaning on public cloud resources to handle surges in resource demands while controlling which solutions have access to certain stored data. IoT will rapidly increase the demands placed on your device management capabilities, but the hybrid cloud offers an agile solution to help you navigate this transition.

A customizable approach to security

Although some experts worry about the liability created by connecting to the public cloud, proponents of hybrid cloud services point out that use of the public cloud can be regulated to leverage its benefits without exposing your organization to its potential risks. With a hybrid cloud system in place, organizations can deploy a customized security strategy that gives them greater control over what data is stored where and who can access it at any given time.

The public cloud can be a valued resource for certain types of data and solutions, but retaining some private cloud solutions or on-site data storage allows businesses to control and secure aspects of their storage and systems if they desire, allowing them to enjoy the best of both worlds. Businesses can enlist the help of security architects with experience working with hybrid cloud systems to determine where to best house their data and systems for optimal efficiency and security.

Hybrid cloud solutions rarely offer a one-size-fits-all solution that works for any enterprise. But if organizations are willing to commit to designing a custom approach that meets their specific operational needs, they can implement an agile, flexible system that supports innovation and will grow with the business over time.