3 reasons why enterprise clients are opting for hybrid cloud

From time to time, we invite industry thought leaders to share their opinions and insights on current technology trends to the IBM Systems IT Infrastructure blog. The opinions in these posts are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of IBM.

The cloud computing industry is entering its second decade. Most companies started out their cloud journey by testing non-critical workloads in public clouds and then began moving mission-critical workloads to the cloud. A recent Forbes article shared that 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. Interestingly enough, it’s predicted that only 41 percent of those enterprise workloads will reside in the public cloud space with the balance of these enterprise workloads split between private cloud, hybrid multicloud and an on-premises environment.

Why hasn’t everything gone to the public cloud? There are many factors but a few worth mentioning are time, data integrity and reliability, and the benefit of utilizing infrastructure that is tried and true.

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#1. The road to the cloud is a journey, not a race

Every organization starts their journey to the cloud from a different place and sits at a different road marker on that journey. Some companies have the ability to be cloud natives: they start with greenfield environments in the cloud. Others, like many enterprise clients, start off on premises or in a colocation environment. There are many factors to consider on that journey—legacy applications, existing infrastructure, staff skill set, and business operations/continuity are just a few.

Enterprise clients have had to prioritize which workloads could can effectively move to the cloud through strategic planning and processes like application rationalization. Doing all of this work takes time. Depending on the strategy which your company pursues, a migration to the cloud may take months and years, not days and weeks.

IT teams that have successfully migrated workloads often take a look at three things as they do their planning:  effectiveness, efficiency, and risk mitigation. These teams have learned that rolling out new cloud services is a process. One of the key considerations is not to disrupt an existing production environment. A tried and true approach is to make sure the new cloud environment is stable and then verify that the business has adapted to any new processes associated with that workload.

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Because of this need to juggle a myriad of factors, we often see hybrid solutions emerge.

#2. All data is not created equal

Data can be complicated and complex to manage. It can run the gamut from innocuous to highly sensitive. Additionally, your industry might have regulatory and compliance considerations. Seems logical, right? It is. Where and how you store that data matters, especially for an enterprise client in a highly regulated vertical.

Enterprise clients deal with the challenge of implementing cloud solutions in tandem with running existing solutions. Often the goal is to design a data management system across different cloud environments. The amount of time needed to access the data is another consideration in the location of the data. A third challenge in supporting 2 disparate data environments is platform consistency. Seasoned, cloud-savvy IT teams often look for a database system that runs well both on premises and in the cloud to provide that much needed platform consistency.

#3. There is something to be said for a tried and true infrastructure 

The mainframe has been in existence for 50 years. Mainframes have been reinvented throughout that lifecycle to support changing tech and business needs. Did you know that 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the mainframe? Or that 68 percent of the world’s production IT workloads run on mainframes? Additionally, 87 percent of all credit card transactions ($8 trillion a year) are handled by mainframes as well as 4 billion passenger flights a year (source: Enterprise Systems Media).

Industry verticals where data is mission-critical like banking, insurance, government, aviation, and retail continue to rely on mainframes for a reason. They are dependable and secure. For many of these organizations, untapped data is a resource. Turning that data into insights requires a compute intensive, foundationally sound infrastructure. It requires foundational infrastructure that can integrate securely with a public, private or hybrid multicloud environment but is also highly available, providing exceptional uptime.  Enterprise clients understand the value of balancing innovation with reliability and manageability.

IBM infrastructure seamlessly and securely connects your data and workloads between on-premises systems and your private or hybrid cloud environment.