Embrace the possibilities of the hybrid cloud

Simon Jones

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Adoption of the cloud has allowed businesses to safeguard their resources while building a solid infrastructure that can handle whatever the future brings. However, with valuable data having become such a precious asset for all sizes of enterprise, and with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across the EU in May 2018, many companies and other organisations are investigating the advantages that a hybrid cloud solution would bring.

Those knowledgeable in the progress of the cloud may be aware that analysts have been singing the praises of the hybrid cloud for some time already. The combination of on-premises private cloud and third-party public cloud is ideal for future-defined IT strategies – especially those held by enterprises that have a desire or requirement to retain ownership and control of certain data assets come what may. However, in the UK and European marketplace, there remains a lack of insight into exactly what a hybrid cloud can provide, and how businesses can derive real value from it.

With MarketsandMarkets Research estimated in April 2016 that the hybrid cloud market will be worth a  US$91.74 billion by 2021, it’s a solution that is making strides across multiple industries – and not just for the most innovative companies. So, let’s focus on what the key attractions of hybrid cloud solutions are.

What makes the hybrid cloud so important

 Aside from legislative changes driving IT decision-makers (ITDMs) to explore new solutions, it is the protection of data that leads many to adopt a hybrid cloud approach for their enterprise. With cybersecurity threats more rampant than ever, organisations must stay focused on protecting their valuable data.

As ITDMs are the ones who will decide where to store their data and how it will be protected from threats – internal and external – a hybrid solution facilitates that protection and empowers them to drive their firms into the fast-evolving future. Add to this the fact that the exponential growth of data generated by some organisations means that a hybrid cloud – with its more affordable efficiency – may be the only adequate option for maintaining that growth.

 How GDPR impacts IT ops

 While ITDMs in the UK and across Europe have known about GDPR for some time, there’s a real risk that they aren’t asking the right questions about how it will affect their operations . This is compounded by statistics that show 93 per cent of companies have concerns about the storage of their data after GDPR implementation, and 91 per cent worry about how the new rules will impact cloud services, according to research on behalf of Calligo.

 The hybrid cloud can help overcome the compliance and security issues associated with movement of data – particularly offshore – with the necessary power and flexibility. With GDPR just a few months away, it’s good to see that some experts see hybrid as a preferred strategy across Europe, though there remains room for improvement in the UK, where it’s the preferred choice for only 58 per cent surveyed.

 The ‘match-and-mix’ solution

 A solid cloud solution is important to the future-defined enterprise. Lenovo views the cloud as a vital cog in any data strategy – a cog that provides ITDMs with choice and flexibility in how they want to manage their data requirements.

“Private or hybrid cloud infrastructures are perfectly suited for meeting today’s challenges,” says Klaus Manhart of Computerwoche, writing for Lenovo Think Progress, “such as making company IT systems more flexible, and breaking open historically-compartmentalised fields.”

The cloud market is mature enough for ITDMs to know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will work for every type of business. As a leader in cloud-provisioning infrastructure, however, Lenovo has designed its data centre solution portfolio to include products that every business type can benefit from. Lenovo’s range of options also cater to the diverse needs of different vertical sectors.

As another Lenovo Think Progress contributor, James Hayes, points out, ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack provides a future-defined enterprise IT route that redefines the concept of ‘private cloud’ and bridges the disconnect between hybrid cloud ‘estates’ by enabling Azure environments to be rapidly deployed in on-premise and co-located third-party data centres, effectively creating a no-compromise private Azure environment cloud that has full-blown continuity with Azure public clouds. With Lenovo’s ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack, enterprises have access to a benchmark-setting foundation for transforming data centre resources into proven hybrid cloud services that balance ITDMs’ needs.

While a hybrid cloud solution is only one possible element to faciliate overcoming the issues associated with GDPR compliance, for enterprises keen to manage their exponential growth while protecting their valuable data, it certainly warrants investigation.

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