Why Businesses Should Consider a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

3 min read

All businesses have three objectives in common—something I call the Universal Triple Aim.

In my role as a Global Senior Offering Manager at IBM, I own a product portfolio that addresses business use cases for clients in multiple industries. This requires keeping abreast of shifts in technology, business operational trends, key challenges within an industry, regulatory impact, and more.

Within the Healthcare industry, for example, there is a well-known set of industry imperatives called the Triple Aim that was created by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to align the healthcare industry around the following objectives:

  • Lowering the cost of care
  • Enhancing patient engagement
  • Improving patient outcomes

The Universal Triple Aim

As I engaged more and more with clients across other industries, I realized that all businesses had these three objectives in common. Thus, I began to call it the Universal Triple Aim.

Ultimately, all organizations large and small, across all industries are seeking 3 key objectives:

  • Lowering operational cost
  • Enhancing customer engagement
  • Improving business outcomes

Hybrid cloud strategy can help address each of these key objectives, compounding the ROI across the business. 

Operating costs

Organizations today spend millions on maintaining IT infrastructure—from mainframes, servers, networks, and storage to virtualization capability and disaster recovery. By leveraging public cloud for data workloads that can be hosted on public and “dedicated public” cloud, businesses can lower CAPEX and OPEX by lowering both the hardware investment and the resources needed to maintain, upgrade, and manage them.

Additionally, by leveraging commodity hardware that can be located across geo-dispersed cloud zones, businesses can often lower the cost of redundancy while enjoying more secure operational uptime during local outages.

Customer engagement

Society’s expectations of businesses have evolved, and all businesses are challenged to adapt to the new consumerism mentality. Whether you’re a product or a service business, customers expect instant, intelligent, contextually relevant engagement; and they expect support 24/7 to be available by computer, cellphone, app, iPad, online chat, etc.

This expectation can only be met by a hybrid cloud strategy where the appropriate business data, customer profiles, and transaction history are combined with any number of other data domains (geolocation, weather data, IoT sensor information, etc.) and used in a service-oriented architecture. The architecture must support streaming and batch data flows, combined into NoSQL data stores to sub-second queries of large data sets, and processed through machine-learning-assisted applications to interact with customers.

Business outcomes

Whether you’re a healthcare provider making use of streaming IoT devices for telemedicine and at-home health monitoring equipment or you’re a utility trying to predict where to place your cables, poles, transformers, and repair crews as a severe storm approaches, better business outcomes demand that you employ a hybrid cloud strategy to leverage unstructured, streaming data sets that, ultimately, help you make AI-informed decisions about your patients or about your outage logistics planning.

Likewise, all industries have similar IoT data that, if leveraged properly, can improve business outcomes. While there is a cost to embedding machine learning into data workflow processes, business outcomes (like shorter power outage recovery times) are vastly improved with AI-informed decisions over the alternative.

When you factor in data privacy, regulated governance (as in BCBS 239), and capabilities like active fraud detection and remediation and timely notification, the importance of the separation of concerns (regarding data sets) further highlights the need for hybrid cloud (and storage) capability.

Learn more

Beyond the three imperatives of the Universal Triple Aim, a hybrid cloud strategy provides increased security, better flexibility for running applications and workloads, higher performance, and increased speed and agility of data operations.

Learn more about hybrid cloud solutions built with IBM Cloud.

Be the first to hear about news, product updates, and innovation from IBM Cloud