Agility is at the core of next-level competitiveness in the modern globalized marketplace. Hybrid cloud environments give businesses the best of both worlds—the privacy/security of private cloud and the flexibility of the public cloud. An organization that knows how to use hybrid cloud technology to its advantage will enjoy long-term sustainability.
Beyond the Basic Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Solutions
According to IBM’s report, “Growing Up Hybrid – Accelerating Digital Transformation,” 75% of organizations use some form of cloud technology today. For many, hybrid cloud solutions make sense from a risk management standpoint. In addition to giving businesses more control over data privacy, hybrid cloud environments offer another advantage. Of the 500 technical decision-makers IBM polled, nine out of every 10 frontrunners associate hybrid cloud environments with the best return on investment over other arrangements.
Consider the benefits of hybrid cloud adoption beyond cost savings to strengthen revenue production:
Instead of purchasing infrastructure, user seats, and intermittent updates for onsite solutions, cloud-based products give companies the ability to adopt and scale solutions on the fly. Real-time updates improve usability and security on an ongoing basis. Businesses that invest in a hybrid cloud can easily innovate and try out new programs, resulting in faster development cycles, workflow optimization, and better customer satisfaction. A hybrid cloud can help simplify your IT department’s workload so your organization can focus on improving business outcomes.
Employee Productivity and Satisfaction
Workers today want to access their workplace applications and information on mobile devices as easily as they manage personal affairs. A hybrid cloud gives companies the ability to separate sensitive information from services and applications that benefit from the flexibility of a public cloud arrangement. Employees who feel confident using the tools at their disposal perform better and feel more satisfied.
Cost savings feed into each of these workplace outcomes, which in turn directly impact revenue-driving activities. Hybrid cloud setups come in many flavors—from security-focused data centers and service providers to a blend of varying levels of private cloud services and secure colocation data centers.
Create an Agile Work Culture Through Hybrid Cloud Adoption
“Some companies find themselves in a hybrid mode due to organic growth of their IT infrastructure and may not have a well-thought-out strategy or comprehensive control over their blended environment,” say IBM experts.
Don’t put yourself in this situation—be proactive and purposefully build a hybrid cloud setup. Each solution must reflect the individual needs and goals of your organization.
Businesses of all sizes can use these steps to optimize a hybrid cloud environment and realize a strong competitive edge:
- Overcome areas of concern. Companies can fall into a common trap of identifying the problems instead of the possibilities of using a hybrid cloud environment to its fullest potential. Outline concerns about BYOD, shadow IT, data encryption, compliance, data security and other data management and privacy factors. Find answers, develop processes, and assign responsibility to manage risk and break away from typical cloud solution fears.
- Focus on the people. Technology is a tool. To use it to its full potential, every end user needs to understand the tool, best practices, and any limitations that may exist. Empower employees to make the most of hybrid cloud solutions including software-as-a-service (SaaS), secure file sharing and syncing solutions, and mobile device policies. The technology will facilitate a competitive edge, but employees must lead the charge.
- Partner with trusted solutions Hybrid configurations may include a combination of settings including public cloud services, managed private cloud, private cloud, and colocation private cloud setups. For a hybrid system to work, businesses must collaborate with vendors and choose providers that offer system audits, a focus on security, and cost-effective creative problem-solving. Customer support plays an enormous role in building a competitive advantage via a hybrid cloud.
- Automate as much as possible. Most businesses don’t have time to audit system performance manually, create security reports, monitor network traffic, and log user activity on a regular basis. Automated monitoring programs with built-in alert systems, combined with actionable policies, give hybrid cloud-driven businesses greater flexibility and insight into the stability of their environment.
- Grow with every mistake. Every digitally mature organization undergoes challenges when it embraces disruptive technological solutions. Hybrid cloud adoption is no different. Every obstacle serves as an opportunity for optimization. Focus on interdepartmental cooperation and keeping management involved in the process to overcome challenges. Part of building a competitive edge involves employing the agility to bounce back from mistakes with ease.
With a goals-based and people-first approach, organizations will find, implement, and optimize the right hybrid cloud environment. Each of these steps toward realizing a competitive edge serves as a building block that every industry frontrunner/early adopter has mastered.
Maintain a Competitive Edge
Companies will need to continue to innovate, optimize, and outperform the competition. As hybrid solutions evolve, so must the businesses that use them. From investing in cloud-based disaster recovery solutions to finding the next SaaS to improve employee productivity, each year represents an opportunity for optimization within an ever-changing cloud-based marketplace.
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