If there were any hesitations around the importance of digital transformation to business longevity, last year has silenced them. Change accelerated the world and transformed workplaces into a hybrid of home and office while schools became a mix of in-person and virtual learning.
The same can be said for the world of business: it's in the midst of transformation and hybrid is at the center of it.
But what exactly is a hybrid cloud strategy, and is it right for your organization? Below, we’ll cover the hybrid cloud basics and outline the key advantages for making the switch to an integrated approach.
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Table of Contents
- The Challenge Businesses Face
- What is Hybrid Cloud?
- Benefits of a Hybrid Solution
- Hybrid Cloud for Planning
- Hybrid Cloud for Business Intelligence
The Challenge Businesses Face
It’s clear that the Cloud has established itself as the new normal for businesses, and the events of last year solidified its mainstay. Businesses that need to innovate and pivot quickly often turn to cloud services.
But not all companies can fully transition, yet. Either these companies have data center assets that they can’t move, have applications that can’t be easily extended, or have other data that may be subject to regulatory requirements that prevent that data from residing in public clouds.
Factoring in the time, resources, capital, and years a business has put into its on-premise deployment, the benefits of the Cloud are often not enough to persuade an organization to move over.
That puts businesses that leverage on-premise deployments at a disadvantage. Competitors who move to the Cloud are making the most of capabilities like machine learning, augmented analytics, and data connections.
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This leaves many at a disadvantage, especially in times of crisis. Those that have yet to begin their digital transformation journey often find themselves struggling survive as they watch their inefficiencies laid bare.
Over time, these shortcomings start to pile up, and businesses face challenges such as:
- Falling short of meeting their stated goals. Goals such as improving margins or reducing IT costs.
- Siloed information. When analytics efforts are driven only by specific functions, teams, or regions, and aren’t shared across the enterprise, businesses leave valuable insights on the table.
- Inability to get a 360-degree view of their business. Without a holistic view of the enterprise, decisions are not well-informed, which means the company is not well-informed.
That puts businesses in a tricky position and is why many are turning to a hybrid cloud strategy, enabling them to get the best of both worlds.
Hybrid cloud is a solution that combines a private cloud with one or more public cloud services, with proprietary software enabling communication between each distinct service. A hybrid cloud strategy provides businesses with greater flexibility by moving workloads between cloud solutions as needs and costs fluctuate.
A hybrid cloud strategy is effective because it gives businesses greater control over their private data. So, if you’re in the public sector, having the ability to control your data behind your protective firewalls is important to continue storing sensitive data while still leveraging the robust and innovative features of the Cloud.
The Best of Both Worlds
A hybrid approach solves this problem by providing businesses with the best of both worlds. Hybrid uses a combination of private and public cloud infrastructures and allows workloads to move between the two interconnected environments.
This mobility between cloud environments gives businesses greater flexibility and agility in data deployment options, allowing businesses to innovate, scale, and protect their assets and their customers. And it's a move that's proving to be trendy: By 2022, more than 90% of enterprises will rely on a hybrid cloud environment to meet their infrastructure needs.
This integrated approach helps solve some of the key concerns that businesses have about the future of analytics and Business Intelligence (BI), providing the best of both worlds. The result is a unified IT infrastructure that delivers the cost optimization, agility, and flexibility benefits of the Cloud, in conjunction with the control, compliance, security and reliability of on-premise.
Want to see what hybrid looks like in real life?
Benefits of a Hybrid Solution
A major advantage of hybrid is the ease it offers. Companies can extend or expand to the Cloud as needed to support growing business needs.
Other advantages include having:
- A unified way to create modular application services
- Orchestration across the environments that allows workloads to move easily and seamlessly
- Accessibility and management of all services–no matter where they reside
- Ease of access to on-premise universe data without moving it to the Cloud
- Developments in the latest technology, such as machine learning, augmented analytics, and AI
Combined, businesses have a seamless, secure, and automated environment that ensures productivity and gives businesses the competitive leg up they need to keep pace with the ever-changing market.
Extending to the Cloud to expand your solution’s capabilities as needed will help support your growing business needs, whether that’s BI or planning capabilities.
Hybrid Cloud for Planning
When everyone has access to information, there is faster time to action and empowerment. Users can manage budget, events, and workflows. You do'nt have to worry about manually tracking down all your organization's data. All of it is in one place!
Hybrid cloud for planning is also a great way to extend planning processes across the entire organization, so financial and operational plans are together.
This approach also enables businesses to reuse all their data, workflows, and processes. This means businesses can leverage the latest technology without leaving behind their investments.
Maintaining a hybrid cloud solution requires a consistent integration of services. It also requires rich connectivity between all applications–no matter where they reside. When looking to extend, be sure the solution can adapt to you, not the other way around.
Look for connectivity options. Whether your data is stored in spreadsheets, on-premise databases, cloud databases, or a combination of all three, the solution of your choice will provide you with flexible options. As well, it should be easy to integrate and connect to all your data, securely.
To learn more about cloud-based enterprise planning solutions, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Enterprise Planning.
Hybrid Cloud for Business Intelligence (BI)
Leveraging BI capabilities will help you answer business questions on the fly. And even better if the solution you’re extending to has self-service BI capabilities.
Plus, being connected to the Cloud enables you to leverage the latest analytics innovations. As a result, you can elevate and predict business outcomes. For instance, augmented analytics, defined by Gartner as the use of enabling technologies, such as machine learning and AI, to assist with data preparation, insight generation, and insight explanation. You can ask questions in a conversational manner and get instant results explained in natural language. You can also predict outcomes, generate forecasts, and automate predictive planning with confidence using your historical data.
Look for a solution that not only promises to unify disparate technologies, but will provide you with other benefits. Think: automation, machine learning, as well as augmented analytics to uncover insights from data faster.