Hybrid Cloud Adoption: The Logical Next Step Toward Innovation and Modernization

The adoption rate of hybrid cloud among enterprises is growing significantly. Companies that have been sold on the trends and success stories are embarking on cloud transformations that enable them to introduce new services, expand sales and monetize data.

To be sure, there are some security concerns for IT leaders to consider before migrating sensitive data and services to a hybrid cloud platform. First, however, let’s take a moment to look at some examples of successful cloud migrations.

Building Services With Hybrid Cloud

In the following examples, companies adopted new cloud services to support faster innovation and first-to-market strategies:

  • A leading elevator company adopted a cloud service that leveraged Internet of Things (IoT) functionality to support its field staff with predictive maintenance and remotely manage firmware.
  • A top manufacturer of mining equipment adopted an IoT-enabled cloud solution to help it analyze and optimize the performance of its trucks and machinery. The dashboards are integrated with existing mining systems.
  • A high-profile pharmaceutical company used a Watson-powered public cloud service for learning management that integrates with enterprise HR systems hosted on-premises.
  • A few other pharmaceutical companies performed analytics and modeling in the cloud to identify patterns in drug prescription data and medical case histories in order to drive higher sales.
  • A leading electrical appliance vendor leveraged a cloud solution to provide mobile-based managed appliance services at a premium to customers. This company used different cloud services for inventory management, mobile application hosting, IoT functions and analytics.
  • A top payments brand analyzed and modeled data generated from anonymized transactions to extract information related to consumers’ spending habits and deliver insights to merchants at a premium.

Migrating From On-Premises Services to Cloud

In these examples, enterprises migrated and modernized services in the cloud to enhance scalability and agility. They also generated new revenue streams.

  • A prominent supply chain company migrated its existing end-to-end visibility platform to the cloud, which enabled it to build a modernized subscription model for its clients at a premium.
  • A leading lighting vendor moved its portfolio to the cloud to optimize operations and enhance scalability in an effort to consolidate its data center footprint.
  • A top uniform laundry company migrated a huge volume of data to the cloud to track operations and empower its mobile staff.

These and many more success stories show why companies are adopting cloud solutions to drive innovation and expand revenue.

Securing Cloud-Bound Data

Security is of utmost importance when adopting cloud solutions, and a hybrid cloud provides many advantages when it comes to managing security governance. The most pressing concerns chief information security officers (CISOs) must consider when evaluating cloud services include:

  • Sensitivity of data and associated regulations;
  • Data security in transmission and storage;
  • Access management;
  • Periodic security testing; and
  • Governance on security management and incident response.

Hybrid cloud offerings help IT teams address these security concerns in myriad ways. They enable security professionals to keep sensitive assets on-premises and send anonymized data to the cloud to reduce data sensitivity and meet associated regulatory compliance requirements. Data lift services ensure secure and reliable transfers of data.

These solutions also enable seamless integration with existing systems for secure data transfer over IPSEC VPN or TLS. Other protocols, such as MQTT and FASP, support secure IoT communications and transmission of large volumes of data between on-premises and cloud systems. Middleware and databases encrypt data natively and ensure protection. Together, these capabilities empower enterprises to manage the keys to their protected data.

Additionally, hybrid cloud solutions provide identity federation and single sign-on capabilities that allow enterprises to manage user authentication, authorization and access governance. Some even provide matured DevOps services in the cloud and perform security testing and governance on any changes. When integrated with enterprise systems, these solutions offer transparency and assurance that best practices are followed.

Get The Smart Guide to Comparing Cloud Service Providers of IAM and Single Sign on Solutions

Hybrid Cloud Expands in 2017

With the flexibility to integrate hybrid cloud solutions with enterprise systems, IT teams can transition security events from the cloud to on-premises incident and event management systems or leverage a virtual security operations center (SOC) console to control events. The security of the cloud infrastructure and platform is mature, certified by several reputed accreditation bodies and, in many cases, much more robust than that of the enterprise’s on-premises services.

The increased rate of hybrid cloud adoption is fueled by the agile development, flexibility, cost effectiveness and security assurance it provides. This technology will surely continue its trajectory of exponential growth in 2017 and beyond.

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Vikalp Nagori

Senior Managing Consultant, IBM

Vikalp Nagori is a senior managing consultant with the CISO for Cloud Business Solutions, IBM. Vikalp has over 20 years of experience in the security space, which spans information risk management, information security and BCP governance, consulting for policy and regulatory compliance, technical and process audits, managing 24x7 SOC, deployment of security and networking products and pre-sales.