n an age of choice, and an age of risk, it can be hard to decide whether on-premise or in the cloud is right for your business. Choosing between the two can be a mission-critical decision, especially if the route selected turns out to be ill-suited to your operations.

Increasingly, enterprises are turning to a third alternative: Hybrid IT. This option has many benefits, while also mitigating the risk of running workloads entirely in either the cloud or solely on on-premise servers.Numerous companies are already tapping into the benefits of a hybrid IT solution. 

According Flexera, international enterprises with a hybrid strategy grew to 58% last year (up from 51%), while 45% are prioritising a hybrid cloud approach to their business. The increasing proliferation of hybrid cloud solutions has been further emphasised by other research organisations auditing the outlook of IT solutions.

According to a recent Frost & Sullivan report “The hybrid IT model will continue to be prominent into the foreseeable future.”

The picture for South Africa

Meanwhile, on local shores Research ICT Africa indicates that a majority of South African companies still maintain a preference for private cloud solutions. 

But this can diminish the opportunities and cost-saving benefits of leveraging a public cloud for certain workloads. As more international vendors open local datacentres, like Microsoft Azure has already done, the hybrid IT approach becomes increasingly viable. 

South African businesses that choose to prioritise a hybrid cloud approach could have the processing power leapfrog their counterparts.

That’s because locally, hybrid presents an interesting opportunity for smaller South African businesses to cut costs and increase operations, while leveraging the benefits of the cloud and maintaining the security and compliance offered by their existing on-premise servers.

But what does hybrid cloud actually mean? 

In a special edition of The Doppler Quarterly Report (2019) hybrid solutions are defined as “Any collection of systems where you have at least one private cloud and one public cloud working together to support IT.” 

Of course, in this case, private cloud can also mean a business’s traditional or legacy systems in the form of on-premise hardware.

A report from Aberdeen expounds further on what Hybrid IT can constitute: “Hybrid Cloud refers to an infrastructure that includes multiple scenarios ­– i.e. virtualised servers, non-virtualised hardware; public cloud, private cloud, hosted services from multiple vendors – all to support an organisations workloads and portfolio of applications.”

No silver bullet, but still a lot of potential…

While there is no panacea to the IT challenges of a business (each business is unique after all) the marriage between cloud and traditional on-premise servers is becoming an increasingly attractive option for start-ups and small businesses. For more established companies, a hybrid solution presents the option of testing out the promise of the cloud, without fully committing to the large-scale investment or institutional change it represents.

Indeed, Santhosh Rao of Gartner presents the view that “Hybrid architectures will become the footprints that enable organisations to extend beyond their datacentres and into cloud services across multiple platforms.”

For local companies who decide to take the plunge, a move to hybrid IT will allow them to have their feet on the ground and their heads in the cloud when it comes to transforming their IT operations at a pace that suits them

Interested in discovering how hybrid IT can enhance your business? 

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