Hybrid cloud benefits and use cases

Hybrid cloud benefits and use cases

One size rarely fits all in business, especially digital businesses. That’s why hybrid cloud is gaining such huge traction.

But what is hybrid cloud? What benefits does it bring and to whom?

What is hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a mix of your own IT systems and internet-based services (SaaS). The model combines the benefits of your own IT infrastructure with the scalability and flexibility of the cloud.

How you build it depends entirely on what you need it to do.

A typical hybrid cloud would use:

  • Your own IT infrastructure such as office systems, computers and networks
  • Internet-based services such as CRM, AWS, Microsoft Azure, big data platforms or accounting systems

A good example of hybrid cloud in action could be an office that use their own servers to store data and network to connect everything. That’s the on-premises part.

The internet-based, or cloud part could combine Zoho CRM, Dezrez, Street.co.uk or Salesforce alongside Microsoft 365 for Windows desktop and office applications.

You could use as much, or as little of each as you like, secure in the knowledge everything will be there when you need it.

What are the benefits of hybrid cloud?

The definition of hybrid cloud gives us a hint of one of its key benefits.

You can create a hybrid cloud solution that’s unique to your needs. It could use your existing IT systems for core operations and SaaS for everything else.

There are other benefits to hybrid cloud though, including:

Cost efficiency – Hybrid cloud can make use of your existing resources without duplicating platforms and expenses. The internet-based/cloud element can be billed per seat or be consumption-based, so you only pay for what you use.

Scalability – Scalability and elasticity are both key benefits of the cloud. You can grow to maximise your existing systems and overflow to cloud solutions as and when required. You can also satisfy surges in demand using public cloud.

Security – A coherent hybrid cloud solution is easier to monitor and manage as you can deploy the same tools and defences across both parts. This coherence also helps compliance for regulated businesses.

Availability of platforms – There are now more companies in hybrid cloud than ever before, with more options, more solutions and competitive prices. Build your own solution and you can leverage almost any cloud provider.

What types of business can use hybrid cloud?

Most types of business can use hybrid cloud. It’s medium-sized enterprises and larger that benefit most, but solutions can be created for almost any use case.

Here are just a few examples of hybrid cloud use:

Cloud bursting

Cloud bursting is where a business will manage their own systems and overflow to the cloud when they need extra capacity.

For example, an office that has enough seats for standard service but requires extra storage and CRM resources for promotions, seasonal sales or other situations.

Disaster recovery

Disaster recovery scenarios are a common use case for hybrid cloud. You could use hybrid cloud to provide a working copy of your on-premises environment that can seamlessly transition in a DR situation.

Rather than paying for a second location just in case of a disaster, you could replicate a minimal viable environment in the cloud and maintain it ready to take over when required.

Hybrid working

Hybrid working is a common use case for hybrid cloud. Office-based staff continue to use your existing systems and security. Remote workers use cloud solutions using the same applications such as Office, Zoom, Microsoft Desktop and so on.

All staff use the same systems in the same way. Staff also have access to the same data and are protected by the same levels of security while working in different ways.

Businesses with legacy systems

Businesses with legacy systems can use hybrid cloud in digital transformation while still using bespoke solutions.

Existing solutions can still be used within the private cloud while day to day productivity can be handled by internet-based apps.

Systems for which there is no cloud alternative use this model all the time, with great success.

AI and big data

Businesses that want to utilise AI or big data can benefit from hybrid cloud. Normal operations can be continued on your own systems while AI or big data storage or processing can be carried out on the internet.

The AI component is an up and coming area for hybrid cloud and something we expect to explode over the next couple of years!

Hybrid cloud and you

As we said at the top, almost any business can benefit from hybrid cloud. Any combination of your own systems and cloud applications and storage can be made to work for any use case.

If you’re exploring the potential of hybrid cloud, contact the team at Cloud Heroes to see what we could achieve together!

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