Hybrid solutions for big business: What is the fuss all about?

Unless its chief information officer has been living in a cave, any reasonably sized business with some sort of commendable IT infrastructure should have heard of the concept of hybrid IT, such as the solutions provided by suppliers likeĀ Canopy. But while hearing about it is all well and good, what actually is a hybrid solution and how could it help a big business nowadays?

What is a hybrid solution?

A hybrid solution is a division of management and resources between private and public cloud. In other words, a company operating a hybrid solution is one that keeps certain operations and resources in-house, while it outsources others and entrusts them to a third-party organisation (such as the aforementioned IT solutions provider).

Hybrid IT solutions appear very much to be the topic du jour for forward-thinking businesses. According to expert IT research and advisory company Gartner, nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

Why could it be beneficial?

As touched upon at the beginning of this piece, the benefit of a hybrid solution centres on the word ‘nowadays’. Modern-day business operations have been unrecognisably transformed when compared to those of a few decades ago – with the majority of this due to technology and the advancements it has facilitated.

Ergo, IT has to keep up and the only way that it can do this is by being flexible, fluid and forward-thinking, which is exactly what a hybrid solution is. By combining both public and private cloud solutions, businesses can balance the two to their own advantage, streamlining the way in which they operate by fitting the IT infrastructure to the business – and not the other way around.

It enables companies to outsource and delegate to a point, but to keep certain sensitive data and operations close to their chest – reaping the benefits of the cloud, but without completely relinquishing control.

How could it be integrated?

This is where hybrid solutions really come into their own. By consolidating an equilibrium between private and public cloud, hybrid solutions offer scalability, which depends entirely on the future direction of a company and the cost-effectiveness of the implementation itself.

Not only this, but a scalable solution is one that can be seamlessly implemented, without employees waking up one morning to find the entire IT operations of their business have been turned on their head. The process can be gradual and done in a way that respects current operations. Ultimately, this is what will enable the two entities – private and public – to run harmoniously as one solution, even though they are in fact fundamentally different.

It will also mean the solution can ebb and flow with the natural tides of a company, as stated before – hybrid solutions work for the company, not vice versa.

And yet, all the while, data is kept safe and operations run smoothly, as there is no interim server or third-party data babysitter while extensive new infrastructure is rolled out.

That said, as with the integration of any internal or external company infrastructure, it is vital that the evergreen principles are adhered to when implementing a hybrid cloud solution – namely, security, budgeting and all of the other qualities that will form the cornerstone of any self-respecting IT policy.