6 lesser-known hybrid cloud benefits

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Lesser known hybrid cloud benefitsThe most commonly talked-about hybrid cloud benefits are flexibility and control.

A hybrid environment gives companies the freedom to store some of their data and applications in a low-maintenance public cloud while entrusting other resources to a more closely managed private cloud. While this perk remains the most important selling point, there are several other advantages that a hybrid cloud strategy can offer over a public or private cloud on its own.

According to an IBM Institute for Business Value report, 98 percent of organizations plan to adopt multicloud architectures, which often include a hybrid component, by 2021. If your organization is among the many considering the transition to hybrid cloud, it might be helpful to learn what other advantages a hybrid cloud can offer so you can start reaping the rewards sooner rather than later.

Here are six lesser-known hybrid cloud benefits you may not have considered but should.

1. Network optimization.

Using hosted cloud services gives you the opportunity to move your network processes off-premises, thus improving the availability and reliability of the connection. Tapping into the cloud, you can prevent system outages with real-time analytics.

Additionally, with load balancing, you can improve latency across geographic locations. This ability could be very relevant for organizations with multiple office branches because it allows you to deliver infrastructure from a location that’s as close as possible to the user rather than a central data center.

2. Other cost savings.

General cost savings may not sound so surprising. Cost-efficiency in relation to capital expenditure and paying only for what you need have long been considered hybrid cloud benefits.

However, there are other, lesser-known cost advantages a hybrid cloud can provide, such as operations and maintenance savings. With fewer on-premises servers, your energy consumption and energy bills will be lower. Less on-premises management can also lead to cost savings in terms of employee time, allowing those hours to be spent on tasks that generate more revenue.

3. Risk management and security.

There are a few ways a hybrid cloud can help you manage risk and improve security. For example, a hybrid model lets you test a few noncritical workloads before moving more critical applications to the cloud.

You can also keep sensitive data on-premises on a dedicated infrastructure. This gives you more control and can increase your network security with a direct connection instead of a public connection. Having a more varied cloud environment helps you avoid vendor lock-in, so it’s easier to migrate to another provider if and when you need to.

4. DevOps.

You may want both off-premises and in-house infrastructure for development and test workloads. For example, an in-house model may be ideal for established applications that require high utilization and data bandwidth, which could make the public cloud a less-than-ideal situation.

Due to their elastic nature, many development and test workloads can benefit from being in a hosted cloud so developers can scale capacity to match demand and only pay for what they use. In a cloud environment, developers can also use cloud-based containers, which facilitate greater portability from one data center to another in the event of a system failure. This limits the potential for disruption for app users and helps facilitate faster app development, thus improving DevOps.

A hosted cloud environment also gives developers the ability to create infrastructure-independent code to optimize workload placements and deliver a more consistent user experience.

5. Backup and disaster recovery.

Hybrid cloud implementation can help organizations cost-effectively use cloud resources for backup and disaster recovery. Cloud service providers offer managed backup and recovery solutions as part of their standard offerings, saving the cost and time that organizations often spend on these functions in-house.

A hybrid cloud can also improve the overall performance and reliability of a disaster recovery solution, especially when compared with traditional methods such as restoring from tapes. In organizations where any recovery downtime is unacceptable, some cloud service providers can even provide a zero-downtime recovery environment.

6. Innovation.

A hybrid cloud can encourage and support greater innovation because of the flexible environment it provides. It also reduces the risks associated with innovation.

Rather than expending significant capital on the hardware and software, you can create an application in the cloud, test it, release it and measure its success. Pay-as-you-go pricing for test projects without any long-term commitment gives you more room to experiment with less skin in the game. The more you attempt innovation, the more likely you are to succeed.

With all these benefits of moving to a hybrid cloud strategy, the odds of a good outcome are stacked in your favor. However, one of the most critical parts of realizing these advantages will be selecting the right cloud service provider.

Not all providers are created equal, so it’s important to find an experienced partner that can meet your specific use cases and support the advantages that are most important to your organization.

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