1. Cost-effectiveness of the cloud, with the Performance of on-premise
There is no doubt that outsourcing with a hosted cloud solution can offer significant benefits in terms of Op-ex savings (where costs are attributed to operational expenditure rather than capital funds). For most businesses, IT infrastructure represents a significant investment, and a hybrid model in which hosted cloud solutions are used to supplement existing infrastructure is an attractive cost-saving option.
A hosted cloud solution on its own is not necessarily better for network performance. Some network components, such as Exchange, perform drastically worse in a hosted environment. This is due to the third party nature of the hosted cloud; ironically in this scenario, the hosted cloud would cause issues for the very people who sought to utilize it. This is why it's important to employ an experienced IT services provider and conduct a full IT assessment before deciding on a permanent solution.
2. Adaptability to changing business needs
With the business technology landscape constantly evolving, companies require access to specialized and agile professionals who can quickly adapt to meet changing business needs. This type of rapid development is often not possible with in-house IT departments, due to their lack of resources and limited experience.
Typically, companies choose to outsource non-critical systems to an IT provider in a hosted cloud, while keeping critical systems on-premise within their proprietary infrastructure. Adopting a hybrid solution with some hosted cloud and some on-premise components allows companies to take advantage of the expertise available through an IT provider, while maximizing performance.
3. Security and control of data
We've discussed a few high level benefits of hybrid IT above, but for many companies there are concerns around data consistency, possible data leakage, and security. Regardless of the quality of a hosted cloud solution, it is not possible for cloud-based storage to offer the same low-latency data access of local storage devices as on-premise. Various caching techniques are used to address the latency issue, however when cloud solutions are used for primary storage this can often lead to uncertainty over most recent versions of data, calling into question data consistency. For that reason, a company may decide to utilize a hosted cloud solution for archiving and backup, but retain their local infrastructure for primary storage.
Security can also be an issue, as business leaders may be reluctant to store valuable data assets with an off-site cloud vendor. Regulatory and compliance penalties associated with loss of or unauthorized access to customer data are high, and many business owners prefer not to take the risk. If you are thinking of storing your organization's data in a vendor's environment, take the time to research the company's experience and obtain client references.
There are many reputable IT providers in the Boston, New York and Philadelphia areas that have proven track records of success when it comes to hybrid IT solutions. To learn more about hybrid IT and how it works for your business, read iCorps' hybrid IT whitepaper.
9 Benefits of Using Hybrid IT Models