Are hybrid cloud solutions a win for SMEs?

As companies want to extract a return from leaner, increasingly agile IT infrastructures, the hybrid cloud approach could be a silver bullet
4 March 2019

Hybrid cloud could be the best solution for your business. Source: Unsplash

When it comes to cloud computing, the debate between private and public clouds will always arise. But in the case of hybrid cloud solutions, it’s a mixture of both technologies.

First, let’s look at the differences between private and public clouds.

In the case of a private cloud which is also known as an internal or enterprise cloud, it resides on company’s intranet or hosted data center where all the company’s data is protected behind a firewall.

Unfortunately, the main drawback with a private cloud is that all management, maintenance, and updating of data centers is the owner’s responsibility.

With a public cloud, the management of a public cloud hosting solution is not the company’s responsibility, as the provider is responsible for the management and maintenance of the data center.

However, security is an element that companies could feel be lacking in a public cloud. At the end of the day, it all boils down to control. This is where hybrid cloud solutions come into play.

Hybrid cloud solutions

SMEs all over the world are using hybrid cloud IT environments that use a combination of private and public cloud solutions.

This hybrid IT solution effectively removes the need for SMEs to move their whole enterprise architecture to the cloud while making the cloud an extension of their existing environment.

For SMEs, hybrid cloud solutions have a lot of benefits, as data privacy, security and control are taken care of when using the cloud.

Limited bandwidth may be a factor for most SMEs, but in a hybrid cloud solution, it’s not a problem as they can use applications and store data when it works best for them, in a flexible approach.

Paying per user, or ‘per seat’ on a monthly basis, is easier on the wallet, and scalable as SMEs want enterprise IT capabilities for a fraction of the cost.

Hardware investments are also more agile, as premise hardware can be integrated into the cloud for Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.

For those who think the solution could be a headache to master or integrate into their legacy architectures, the reality is cloud software solutions have mostly similar interfaces to non-cloud versions.

SME decision makers should investigate the hybrid cloud approach to protect their company’s data, help boost efficiency and increase collaboration across the board.

Compliance is another factor that most SMEs are potentially concerned about. From GDPR rules to HIPPA, it can be a regulatory minefield out there, with big consequences for infringement.

Hybrid cloud solutions can provide a path by providing backup storage on off premises for conservation, protect data from corruption and establish documentation that establishes the reliable data recovery process.

Unburdening the network for better business is also another major advantage with hybrid cloud solutions, as most models of hybrid use system downtime to perform a local backup to the cloud.

This lowers the impact on bandwidth during the working hours but also ensures that there is an off-premise backup in the event of an untoward incident.

A local device performing these tasks and workloads can also leave the primary server to deal with day to day business for backups to be made efficiently.

Unlike traditional methods of optimizing specific infrastructure to impact applications in a positive way, companies now must configure applications correctly to provide best return and performance.

As more companies embrace this hybrid cloud approach, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) will be able to train these models to be ‘self-learning’, ‘self-healing’ and ‘self-operating’ to relieve a lot of work within the company.

As companies want to extract a return from leaner, increasingly agile and flexible IT infrastructures, the hybrid cloud approach could be the silver bullet that promises the revolution most companies, especially SMEs, are looking for.