Cloud Computing Benefits Are Under Fire
It wasn't all that long ago that the cloud was an obscure new technology that only a handful of companies were successfully leveraging, but things have truly come full circle. Cloud computing is now almost ubiquitous, and cloud adoption rates by both IT and the public continue to soar. But a small group of businesses are rethinking their cloud strategy and finding that sometimes the cloud just isn't the right fit.
The Realities of the Cloud
The benefits of cloud computing are undeniable. But as more and more businesses adopt individual cloud solutions, some cracks are starting to appear in this new technology's armor.
For scalability or elasticity, the cloud reigns supreme, but for businesses that have outgrown the need for constantly shifting IT power, it may not always be the most economical option. As Wired points out, once a company can accurately predict their computing needs, buying hardware at a discount often contrasts advantageously with a public cloud solution for reasons of economy.
Dedicated hardware can also provide a level of performance and consistency that is hard to find in the public cloud, which has numerous clients utilizing pieces of the same hardware. As detailed in the article, some businesses that require extremely high performance out of certain systems, such as a database, found that even the cost savings of a cloud solution were not enough to make the solution work for them.
Of course, these stories are anecdotal and specific to the needs of the businesses in the article, but they speak to a greater point. Cloud computing has become such a large part of IT, that sometimes IT managers may forget that dedicated hardware solutions exist. In certain circumstances, these perform better and cost less.
Shifting in the Right Direction
With all of this in mind, the direction that many businesses seem to be heading — and that many midsize businesses should seriously look at — is the hybrid cloud. As this Web Host Industry Review article discusses, research shows that the hybrid cloud option is catching on for many of the reasons that the cloud caught on in the first place.
Originally, the hybrid cloud seemed to be a perfect fit for companies that wanted to leverage the cloud but were unable to take the plunge, or for companies that simply couldn't use the public cloud for regulatory reasons. Now it seems that almost any business can find the right mix of public and private cloud options to help their IT department.
According to the article, more than 70 percent of respondents to a cloud computing survey claim to be already using a hybrid solution, with security, control and performance as the top three reasons to prefer that particular solution. Even more, 60 percent of respondents claim that a hybrid cloud is the "culmination of their cloud journey," rather than a step on the way to a complete public cloud solution.
Midsize businesses may stand to benefit the most from a hybrid solution as they occupy the middle ground between the elasticity of a startup and the purchasing power of an enterprise. IT managers looking to get the most out of their cloud solution or who are looking at their monthly cloud bill and wondering where the cost savings went will do well to consider a hybrid solution.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.