Enterprises are shifting workloads to the cloud. And very often, a hybrid strategy is the goal. Gartner estimates that 72% of companies are pursuing a hybrid cloud model. Get more information about the journey to private cloud.
Moving enterprise applications and data to the cloud offers enormous benefits. You can have fast access to new technology with additional resources on demand. Acquiring those resources on an as-needed basis is simple and cost effective.
For as great as cloud benefits are, however, they do not come without risk. A hybrid cloud environment – or using on-premise and hosted cloud technologies together – can create some complicated integrations. Those integrations can generate many potential points of failure.
One potential risk is the loss of control.
There have always been changes made to operating systems and applications that had to be managed. This is true if the applications are running on-prem or in the cloud. On-premise systems could be patched and managed through management and automation. Most CIO’s have become experts in maintaining control in their data center over these changes.
Now that systems are integrated between on-prem, private, and public cloud environments, those changes to systems happen without your approval and could cause potential problems with your critical systems. Automated testing needs to be implemented to ensure maximum uptime. The process cannot be manual because the resources required would eliminate the cost benefits of the cloud.
Other complications with integrations and potential risk of downtime.
Many public cloud services that enterprises currently consume include software-as-a-service (SaaS). Taking full advantage of these applications usually requires integrating their data into your on-premises applications, private cloud, or other SaaS deployments.
These SaaS companies all have their own data policies and may potentially have API limitations. Some SaaS companies put limitations on APIs or may place data transfer limits on your systems. How these different SaaS companies manage your data has to be fully understood before integrating SaaS systems into your hybrid cloud environment.
Security is another potential risk that needs to be mitigated.
Security has always been a concern which has only escalated since the inception of cloud technologies. This concern primarily takes the form of feeling as if you have lost control over where and how your data is stored. Private cloud has helped mitigate that risk by giving you cloud benefits with on-premises security.
However, when you move to an automated hybrid cloud environment that utilizes public cloud services, security still needs to be addressed. That is why companies like IBM are delivering advanced security services that were built and delivered in the cloud.
Large government agencies were originally very concerned about security in the cloud. With advances in cloud security some agencies are now embracing the cloud. The Department of Health and Human Services along with NASA are pursuing hybrid cloud initiatives. More and more, cloud providers are providing advanced, integrated security capabilities designed for the cloud.
Keeping Your Hybrid Cloud Secure and Productive
Hybrid clouds can offer immense benefits. They provide scalability, elasticity, and agility. When deployed correctly, your organization could turn your technology into a true competitive advantage.