The ideal mixture
Cost remains a critical factor, with 54% of executives surveyed by IBM citing lowering costs as the key reason for implementing hybrid cloud. Of course adoption of cloud enables organisations to avoid costly facilities and power, including equipment refreshes. For startups especially, up-front investment in on-premise datacenters is often not viable.
Functions such as IT utilities, customer support, CRM, HR, ERP, and expense management are often put on the cloud to take advantage of its rapid scaling and flexibility. One logical principal often used is to build customer-facing applications (which need to scale rapidly according to spikes in demand) on the cloud and keep their associated systems of record on-premise. This closely mirrors bi-modal IT and results in cost savings by avoiding excess capacities.
Security and compliance are other key considerations. Though cloud is not synonymous with 'less-secure,' there is always the possibility of human error. Also, certain industries, notably healthcare and financial services, generate sensitive data and are subject to government regulations for higher levels of security. Often, this means keeping the data stored in private data centers.
The risks of operational disruption was exemplified in February 2017, when a simple typographical error during a routine debugging exercise at Amazon Web Services led to downtime for some of the internet's most popular sites and 54 of the largest online retailers for four hours. About U.S. $150 million worth of business was lost.
Most experts agree that a mixture of on-premise and cloud is the way to go. The question is just how much of the earth and how much of the air is ideal? Perhaps IT leaders and astrologists should come together to solve this riddle. And that is why Techfucius says: 'Mind the earth before seeking the clouds!'
I wish you salvation from the woes of mind, body, spirit and IT.
While I may not always manifest in the physical realm, those who seek me shall always find me at:
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.