Four Critical Success Factors for Hybrid Cloud Adoption

Four Critical Success Factors for Hybrid Cloud Adoption

This is part of Solutions Review’s Premium Content Series, a collection of contributed columns written by industry experts in maturing software categories. In this submission, Anexinet Enterprise Architect Matt Dierolf offers the most critical factors of hybrid cloud adoption you need to know.

SR Premium ContentThe hybrid cloud has become a significant enabler of digital business transformation, with adoption accelerated by the need for staff to work remotely, enable digital commerce, to provide services such as telehealth, entertainment streaming, and remote learning.

Its key selling point is that it enables the seamless use of public cloud services with line-of-business applications. The hybrid cloud leverages the best on-premise, public cloud, and private cloud services to flexibly deploy and run business workloads.

The hybrid cloud “silver lining” is compelling. But no transformational process is without its challenges. When it comes to this type of cloud migration, there are three critical success factors IT personnel need to consider.

1. Develop a Workload Migration Strategy

Hybrid cloud adoption is not a “lift and shift” operation. It requires careful workload orchestration—from business processes through the application, platform, and infrastructure. The first task is to de-tangle the current intricate system of workflows running on-premises (and perhaps even in the cloud). Specific workflows are inherently better suited for the public cloud. Legacy applications—that weren’t built with the cloud in mind—may be easier to re-platform or repurpose for the private cloud. Establishing workload destinations and placements balances performance, system dependency, cost, security, and integration. When creating the migration strategy, be sure to ask the following:

  • What is the ROI of moving the workflow?
  • How do the benefits compare to the risks?
  • Where will we place the workflow: geographical location, provider, and cloud type?
  • How will the migration occur?
  • Do we need external expertise for refactoring and re-architecting specific applications?

Above all, be realistic; workflow assessment and migration are tedious processes that may require outside expertise.

2. Establish New Networking Standards

Public cloud providers always specify their preferred connection methods. If your portfolio leverages several service providers, you must ensure their standards match. In addition, to avoid any performance issues, private clouds within your portfolio will need to be similarly connected. Your main goal is to deflect possible bottlenecks by ensuring a consistent connection between all the elements in your environment. However, some hybrid workloads may have a low tolerance for the internet’s variations in throughput. So you may need to establish a point-to-point connection between the cloud service provider and your data center.

3. Review Your Security Best Practices

Even as the adoption of a hybrid cloud grows, security is still a challenge. For multi-cloud environments, you will need to define a custom security perimeter that accounts for the following:

  • Unified Governance
  • Isolation Failure
  • Shared Handling and Reporting of Security Incidents
  • Compliance and Legal Risks
  • Service Unavailability
  • Application Protection
  • Multiple Interfaces

What Success Looks Like

There are clear benefits to a hybrid cloud deployment, and not all of them are focused on IT. However, if you address the three success factors discussed above, you can expect to benefit from:

  • Portability – Developing cloud-native applications in containers with microservices architectures helps facilitate workload portability between public and private clouds.
  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership – The elasticity, workflow, and resource-usage optimization enabled by hybrid cloud and IT transformation translates into lower TCO.
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency – The ability to burst into public cloud resources minimizes downtime and lets organizations easily sustain peak loads.

As infrastructure is becoming programmable, the operation of composable infrastructure, wherever it resides, is becoming increasingly automated because it requires less manual intervention and routine administration than legacy system equivalents.

Final Thoughts

IDC’s research shows that organizations that modernize IT for cloud consistency have 94 percent more effective bandwidth, 64 percent faster data backups, 86 percent faster data recovery, 87 percent less frequent unplanned outages 90 percent less productive time lost due to unplanned downtime.

The hybrid cloud is an excellent “toe-dipping” option for companies with low cloud maturity. An IT department can experiment by migrating non-critical workloads before moving more sensitive data and applications to the new private environment. It’s important to note that most cloud-service providers guarantee better availability rates than local on-premise setups.

A hybrid cloud architecture has proven business agility and has become a catalyst for transformational change, even for traditional organizations who want to play by the “startup” rulebook. In the end, the cost savings, availability, flexibility, and operational improvements enable businesses to create new revenue sources, expand into new markets and explore new business models.

Matt Dierolf
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