February 18, 2021 By Deepa N. Krishnan 3 min read

In my discussions with clients about their journey to cloud, it’s evident that many view cloud as their end goal rather than looking at cloud environments as a capability within their larger IT infrastructure.

From my experience, this type of singular deployment focus will not yield the expected results. A more effective approach is to leverage a hybrid cloud strategy which allows you to make the most of what on-premises and cloud environments each have to offer.

Indeed, research has shown that businesses have realized 2.5x the business value from hybrid cloud than from a public cloud-only approach. [1]

>> What is hybrid cloud?

To cloud or not to cloud? That shouldn’t be the question

When you take a hybrid approach, you’re no longer questioning “To cloud or not to cloud?” but rather asking yourself “What’s the problem I’m trying to solve?” and “What environment and workflows within my infrastructure will offer the best solution?”

Let me offer the following example:

Use case for leveraging a hybrid cloud infrastructure

  • Problem: My mission-critical workloads need a disaster recovery solution to ensure I can get access to my data in a reliable manner, should the need arise. Proverbially, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I also don’t have the capacity to keep a second copy of all this data on premises.
  • Solution: Disaster recovery is one use case for public cloud. In this scenario, data residing primarily on premises could be tiered to the cloud for backup storage, with near real-time mirroring to the on-premises environment to provide data consistency.
  • Hybrid workflow: For this use case, you need software designed for a hybrid workflow. This means the software provides the same, consistent management interface you’re used to running in your on-premises environment as it does in the public cloud. Furthermore, this gives you a holistic view of your entire IT infrastructure.

The importance of on-premises infrastructure to your cloud journey

There are three processes or models of transitioning applications and workloads to cloud environments:

Born on the cloud. Cloud-native applications and services that use cloud infrastructure tools and microservices to run the workload.

Lift and shift. Applications originally designed to run on premises are now ported to run in cloud environments. While this may tick the box of cloud deployment, you may not see the true operational and scale value of this approach.

Refactored (modernized). Applications originally designed for on-premises consumption rewritten using cloud microservices architectures or containerized. Your app may not be born on the cloud, but it’ll act like it was!

Regardless of where you are on your journey to cloud – and by journey, I mean crawl (lift and shift), walk (modernize) and run (hybrid workflows) – it’s crucial to maintain investments in your on-premises infrastructure.

A 2021 study by Forrester Consulting [2] found that the majority of organizations surveyed had delayed infrastructure refreshes a few times or more in the last five years, prioritizing other IT initiatives over on-premises investments.

Following delays, half of IT decision makers found security vulnerabilities, 44% reported higher costs and 39% experienced compatibility restrictions.

The study makes a point to emphasize that “[The] continuation of commitment to traditional compute doesn’t represent a failure to move forward.”

>> Read the full Forrester study

Build a hybrid cloud strategy that supports your business needs of today and will scale to meet your goals of tomorrow

Nurturing your on-premises environment is critical for long-term sustainable strategy. Future-proof your investments by ensuring they are designed with a hybrid workflow in mind, so you’re supported at every stage of your journey to cloud.

Simply put: Build a hybrid strategy that allows you to leverage both on-premises and cloud environments, and an IT infrastructure that will scale to meet your needs.

IBM Storage recognizes the challenges you face and have equipped the IBM FlashSystem® family with software that provides you with an onramp to the cloud. Each FlashSystem solution comes packaged with IBM Spectrum® Virtualize, an award-winning software foundation that provides simplified storage across heterogeneous environments.

With Spectrum Virtualize on premises (bundled with IBM FlashSystem) and IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud, you can have a single cloud solution for your storage needs, rather than a siloed approach with different solutions for different vendors.

Additionally, you can further optimize your hybrid workflow by leveraging software like AI-infused IBM Storage Insights, to monitor your data, regardless of where your data resides, on premises or in the cloud!

Next steps

You can find a detailed explanation IBM FlashSystem and Spectrum Virtualize in the following data sheets:

If you have questions or would like to speak with an IBM representative, please don’t hesitate to reach out:

  • Fill out this short form and let us know how we can be of help, and we’ll get back to you within one business day; or,
  • Give sales a call at 1 877-426-4264 (Priority code: Storage)


[1] “Outperforming Businesses: Realize 2.5-x value with a hybrid cloud platform approach,” a sponsored study conducted by Hurwitz & Associates on behalf of IBM, 2020. https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/O2XY9XM1

[2] “The Key To Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Strategy,” a commissioned annual study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of IBM, January 2021.

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