I have been witnessing the argument about private vs. public Cloud adoption in enterprises for many years now. Traditional IT in enterprises that have been in business for the last 40-50 years have a fairly complex IT landscape, be they large banks, airlines, insurance companies, retail shops, automobile companies, consumer packaged goods companies, etc. For them, moving all the workload into the cloud would be almost impossible.
This contrasts sharply with the SMB segment (companies with fewer than 250 employees). Up to 65% of companies in the SMB segment have adopted the cloud, and most of them use the cloud to run their business: The Museum of Modern Art is a prominent example. Larger enterprises, because of their vast IT landscape and deep investments, naturally meet the cloud movement with greater inertia. For them, the middle ground of hybrid cloud is an ideal solution.
Let us look at the capabilities required by IT to manage and support new application development, maintain existing applications and infrastructure operations, etc. in this hybrid environment. These are not very different from the capabilities you need in traditional IT at the outset. When you look deeper, though, there are many new capabilities required in a hybrid cloud setup. Broadly, these can be categorized into Plan, Build & Run phases as depicted in the diagram below:
Like in traditional IT, enterprise IT planning requires understanding business objectives, and then creating a long-term strategic plan and a short-term execution plan. When it comes to hybrid cloud, planning needs to consider the following:
- Workloads that will stay on the premises and others that can go to the public cloud;
- Software services that can be availed in a SaaS model;
- Enterprise architecture to tie all software & hardware components together, whether on the premises or in the cloud;
- An understanding of ROI & TCO models and overall financial management from one central place, measuring both CAPEX and OPEX.
In my next blog I will delve deep into the details of building and running an efficient hybrid cloud ecosystem.
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