Could a hybrid cloud setup be perfect for your business?
Product Manager - Cloud
The 2015 State of the Cloud Survey clearly shows a significant growth in cloud adoption. Organisations large and small are weighing up different strategies and deciding what’s best for their business. Most companies know that moving to the cloud is where they want to be, with 84 per cent of UK businesses now starting the transition. However, it’s not a decision companies take lightly due to the investment and challenges it can present, especially with regards to migrating legacy systems. As the complexity of the technology industry continues to grow, businesses must decide which type of cloud operation best suits them.
The first option is public cloud. Hosted in purpose-built data centres and as the name suggests, this infrastructure enables cloud service providers such as Microsoft to provide many businesses with cloud services, such as storage or applications. Internal IT teams will have more time and resources available to add strategic value to the business when using this option, rather than in-house server maintenance, managing licence upgrades etc. A great option for cost-saving and increased user productivity, but due to the more open nature of the public cloud, it may not be the ideal place to hold sensitive data if your policies won’t allow it.
On the other hand, private cloud is a form of on-premise or remote hosting, operated either by your internal IT team or a cloud service provider that’s for the sole use of your business. Security is therefore much stronger due to the private nature of the platform, although this offering is much less flexible and more costly as a result. It’s unsurprising then that so many businesses are combining both with a hybrid cloud approach, placing more sensitive elements of the business, such as legal and accountancy data, in a private cloud while hosting the more general and customer-facing elements in a public setting.
The best of both worlds
Does your business have a large amount of sensitive data it needs to keep separate from other operations? Are you interested in the idea of moving to the cloud but worried about the migration of your entire system infrastructure? A hybrid cloud solution offers the best of both public and private clouds, with a few more benefits in-between.
Your employees gain all the productivity benefits of public cloud working – anywhere access to their documents and applications, seamless use across desktop and mobile devices, instant communication with their contacts and access to whole host of flexible, fully up-to-date features that wouldn’t be feasible with a more static, on-premise system. Your business can take advantage of the cost savings on offer here, but can also be safe in the knowledge that the data placed in your private cloud area is as secure as possible.
Microsoft Office 365 offers an outstanding hybrid cloud deployment to help your business make the transition. Migration can be a real sticking point, but with Office 365 hybrid cloud enabling a phased approach, your business can trial your investment in a measured manner rather than blindly rolling out the changes.
Move now, or forever hold your peace
With more and more businesses now turning to the cloud, and a hybrid approach offering the perfect combination between public and private hosting, the time has come for those businesses yet to take the plunge, to do so. Those businesses worried the cloud isn’t right for them would be best advised to take advantage of the phased nature of a hybrid approach. From the initial roll out, the benefits become apparent almost instantly; increased collaboration, flexible working, increased security, tighter control and improved business continuity. You choose how much of your business sits in the cloud and when you want to alter this - a great option to dip your toe and a perfect way to start your cloud journey.