Businesses No Longer Fixated On Single Cloud Initiatives
Enterprises Are Beginning To Expand Their Cloud Perspectives Beyond Conventional Theories
During the past several years, organizations have grown relatively familiar with the cloud computing landscape. While many enterprises were initially hesitant to adopt the hosted services due to security, privacy and general performance concerns, many of these fears have dissipated over time. Now, organizations are utilizing the cloud to give their remote workforce access to mission-critical resources without worrying about connectivity issues.
Still, the use of the cloud today is much different than it was yesterday. When the cloud was first accepted in the workplace, executives were torn between launching public or private models, thinking that they had to make a decision one way or another. The private cloud, which can be hosted on-site or by a third party, is generally more secure, as it does not share the same multi-tenant policies as its public counterpart. Conversely, public offerings are generally more scalable and cost-effective, both of which are critical in the fast-paced, economically pressed business world.
Fortunately, decision-makers have recently realized that they do not necessarily need to fully commit to one cloud. Instead, enterprises can embrace a free-flowing mentality that enables employees to access multiple cloud services simultaneously.
The Hybrid Philosophy
A recent TechTarget report highlighted how companies around the world are beginning to disregard the idea of leveraging solely one public or private cloud service. Experts said that organizations want to experience the scalable benefits associated with the public cloud, but do not necessarily want to risk exposing highly confidential resources in architectures beyond their firewalls. This has led executives to implement hybrid cloud programs that encapsulate the best of both worlds.
"Hybrid is indeed the cloud architecture that will dominate. We're seeing over 50 percent of enterprises prioritizing private cloud in 2013 to 2014, and there will likely be very few private clouds that don't have a public [hybrid] component," Dave Bartoletti, analyst with Forrester Research, told TechTarget.
Some cloud providers are even making hybrid solutions available on demand, which allows decision-makers to essentially "drag and drop" dedicated servers into their hybrid programs. This means companies can easily change their scalability within a matter of seconds, which is becoming increasingly important in contact centers that are forced to deal with fluctuating volumes of traffic.
Other experts are not as enthusiastic about this new opportunity. IT expert David Linthicum in particular asserted that this new capability is not necessarily groundbreaking, especially now that enterprises are adopting multi-cloud programs, which means they are utilizing hosted services from numerous providers at the same time.
A Land of Many Clouds
Linthicum noted that executives are more likely to pursue multi-cloud projects that deliver greater value to their organization than generic hybrid cloud initiatives that the rest of the business world is adopting. While multi-cloud projects are more complex, they introduce much more substantial opportunities to a growing enterprise looking to stay ahead of the competition.
"These days, the number of projects involving just one or two cloud computing providers or technologies is few and far between. It's more likely there are a half dozen involved," Linthicum told TechTarget.
A Neovise study highlighted similar expectations for the future of the cloud landscape, noting that larger firms are 46 percent more likely to implement hybrid cloud initiatives than small companies, though smaller firms are beginning to catch on. In the coming years, the hybrid and multi-cloud phenomenon will be considered the norm.
"We have already entered the multi-cloud world and there is no going back. What remains is further maturity for hybrid clouds - where organizations not only use multiple clouds, but combine and integrate them to provide enhanced capabilities," said Paul Burns, president of Neovise.
The study found that the elasticity of cloud computing is one of the main reasons organizations implement hosted solutions. When companies use a cloud VoIP system, for example, employees can handle larger volumes of traffic without worrying about experiencing performance issues. This is critical in customer-facing departments, such as the contact center and sales teams, as failing to uphold strong relationships with clients can be dangerous in today's fast-paced and highly competitive business world.
The cloud computing landscape will continue to evolve in the coming years, especially as organizations of different sizes and industries adopt the hosted services in an effort to keep up with the rest of their respective industries. Fortunately, decision-makers no longer have to choose between a single public or private cloud service. Instead, executives can pick which solutions work well for certain operations and implement a variety of combinations to find the strategy that is the most cost-effective and efficient for the way their employees work. This will ultimately transform how enterprises view the cloud and approach the technology in the future.