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Next-generation hybrid cloud powers next-generation business


Hybrid cloud can help address the barriers to successful cloud deployments

Low-hanging opportunities for public cloud have already been exploited by most organizations. “Front-office” applications, such as client inquiries (checking account balances, for example), social media, and digital shopping carts, make up a large portion of what has gone to public cloud.

These initial opportunities have validated the benefits of the cloud architectures, including speed of deployment, dynamic resource acquisition, application elasticity, and service reuse across workloads. Because of cloud, organizations are thinking about innovation, speed, deployment, new markets, and disruption in a new light.

Executives report a range of successes with public cloud initiatives, especially around their abilities to scale and grow. (See Figure 1.)

At the same time, mission-critical, security-dependent applications, such as customer data bases, transaction processing, finance and accounting, supply chain, and manufacturing—have moved slowly—or not at all—to public cloud. This is especially true for highly regulated industries, such as banking and healthcare, where the highest proportion of processes are yet to move to the cloud. In many cases, these workloads are better suited to private cloud—or a mixture of public, private, and traditional IT.

If the next phase of cloud benefits is to be realized, a new approach is needed to address these workloads that have been left behind.

Despite the growth of cloud over the past decade, for most organizations, only 20 percent of workloads have made their way to the public cloud—and these are not yet companies’ core mission-critical workloads. The 80 percent that remains is where real enterprise value lies.

Hybrid cloud permits public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises IT to interoperate seamlessly. Standardized technology interfaces across these three enable businesses to innovate with scale and agility, improving responsiveness and constraining cost, despite growing complexity.

Security is central to a successful cloud deployment. Hybrid cloud allows apps to run—and data to be stored—in the IT environment best aligned with specific security, regulatory, and governance requirements.

The intrinsic interoperability and portability of hybrid cloud means organizations are not locked in to either one environment or to one individual public cloud vendor. They can place their workloads in the best spot—and operate between environments and different public cloud providers.

Hybrid cloud also allows enterprises to manage their cloud transition dynamically, selecting acceptable levels of downtime and overcoming the constraints of legacy systems and silos. It can help address the barriers that determine the difference between successful and unsuccessful cloud deployments.


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Meet the authors

Ken Keverian

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, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, IBM


Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM

Steve Robinson

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, General Manager, Red Hat Synergy, IBM Hybrid Cloud


Anthony Marshall, Senior Research Director, IBM Institute for Business Value