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Here comes the hybrid multi-cloud

Even when the cloud has caused much ink to flow, it seems that most organizations prefer hybrid cloud, combining private and public cloud, to enjoy the best of both worlds. Transparency and portability remain the big challenges. Hence the need to call on the services of a professional provider to make the right choice.

According to a study by IDC, companies will spend $554 billion on cloud computing and related services by 2022, twice as much as in 2016. A survey by IDG among 550 IT decision-makers revealed that 73% of the organizations have already adopted the cloud, while 17% plan it in the next 12 months and only 10% have a migration planned within the next 3 years. On-premise data and applications are not becoming obsolete, but implementation models are evolving into architectures that combine public and private clouds, as well as on-premise data and SaaS-based applications.

In addition, a study by Computer Profile revealed that in recent years, the adoption of cloud solutions has accelerated considerably. In 2010, only 13% of Belgian companies used one or more cloud solutions. In 2018, that number rose to 64%: 5 times the number of 8 years ago. The survey also revealed that the cloud is most popular among SMEs.

The cloud, yes but…

Among the reasons that justify cloud investments, companies mention the need to accelerate IT service provisioning, the need to have more flexibility in responding to changing market conditions, the need to have guaranteed business continuity, the reduction of development time, the improvement of service and customer support, and the reduction of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

On the other hand, major cloud adoption obstacles include vendor lock-in (47%), security risks (34%), the location of the data storage (34%), the shortage of skills to manage the cloud and maximize the investment (31%), as well as difficulties related to integration (29%).

Hybrid is the answer

Facing this reality, more and more companies are choosing hybrid cloud, combining the benefits of public cloud and on-premise private cloud. But this approach requires rigorous and technically challenging management skills, especially in terms of security, as well as a need for transparency when switching from one environment to the other. Therefore, the most important choice is that of the technology provider.

According to the IDG study, companies manage an average of 4 Software as a Service providers (SaaS), 3 Platform as a Service partners (PaaS) and 2 Infrastructure as a Service vendors (IaaS). At the same time, they consider increasing the number of their partners in the next 18 months (5 in SaaS, 3 in IaaS and 3 in PaaS).

Conclusion of the study: “Organizations are no longer wondering whether they should turn to the cloud. They are now looking to optimize the use of new cloud services by adopting new delivery models and implementing multi-cloud architectures.”

Challenges

While the adoption of the cloud was initially justified by cost savings, it now seems that the cloud is needed at the very request of the IT department to improve the availability of IT services, speed up development and deployment, expand the IT services portfolio, increase flexibility, and offer better disaster recovery capabilities. This evolution increases the need for integration between cloud provider platforms, even if the arrival of Kubernetes-based managed service offerings should facilitate compatibility between solutions. In addition, the maturity and depth of the offers, as well as the pricing of the products, will be part of the selection criteria, as is customer experience.

Proving the success of hybrid multi-cloud, IDC announced that for the first time sales of traditional IT infrastructure has been exceeded by sales of cloud infrastructure in the 3rd quarter of 2018. Sales of cloud infrastructure are expected to continue growing by 13.3% in cumulative growth by 2020 to reach 57.6% of all sales.

In this context, companies and their IT departments will benefit from relying on their IT partners to select the offer that best meets their needs – current and future. Aprico Consultants is a consulting firm specializing in architecture and information systems transformation. By accelerating the digital transformation process, Aprico provides its customers with the flexibility, performance, and competitiveness they need to strengthen their position in the market. Aprico strongly collaborates with clients to translate their strategy, objectives, and constraints into pragmatic transformation programs that deliver real added value and proven return on investment.