This year has forced the majority of businesses globally to adopt remote working practices. Where remote working was not previously a part of the corporate culture, this overnight switch has thrown up a considerable number of challenges, from new security issues to the practicalities of collaborative working.
One solution to these problems comes in the form of hybrid cloud adoption. With all forms of cloud computing already seeing a rapid increase in popularity, this cloud environment offers a set of advantages particularly suited to businesses with employees now working at home.
What is hybrid cloud computing?
Simply put, there are three main kinds of cloud deployment: public, private, and hybrid. Public cloud is provided by third party companies, with Google, Amazon and Microsoft being some of the major players in this area. Anyone can sign up to use public cloud services, with both subscription and pay as you go options available. Depending on the service provider and package chosen, it can provide IaaS and SaaS.
Public cloud offers benefits in the form of almost infinite scalability, and financial savings as all maintenance is handled by the third party provider. It’s ideal for collaborative projects as all that’s required is an internet connection. However, public cloud uses the public internet, which brings its own potential for vulnerabilities.
A private cloud, meanwhile, is protected by a firewall and is typically used by a single organisation. This form of cloud computing can be based entirely in-house, although there is now also the possibility of having colocation private cloud. As in the case of public cloud, a private cloud can be accessed anywhere that there is internet availability, and again offers the benefit of superb scalability.
The key difference is that only authorised users can access it. This, of course, makes a private cloud a more secure option, but a more expensive one. Additionally, unlike having a third party provider, if you have a private cloud you are responsible for all management and maintenance, including software and infrastructure, although the growth of managed private cloud provision is growing, with companies such as Cisco and IBM now offering this service.
Hybrid, as the name suggests, offers elements from both, combining the on-site infrastructure of private cloud with the unrivalled scalability of public cloud. Its benefits include increased security, more data deployment options and excellent flexibility. This is thanks to the agile nature of hybrid cloud: users can move seamlessly between public and private platforms, with both working together to allow data and applications to transfer between the two. It’s ideal for organisations tied to compliance regulations, as it ensures data security whilst also allowing access to big data analytics made possible by the AI algorithms of the public cloud.
How hybrid cloud can help you today
All of these benefits mean that opting for hybrid cloud is an excellent means of navigating the challenges of a remote workforce. It enables businesses to react quickly to the needs of employees suddenly forced to work from home, but without sacrificing security. Collaborative working is still possible, with the ability for multiple team members to access files in real time, and as the needs of your organisation change, the immediate scalability of the hybrid cloud allows you to grow without disruption.
A great option for the future
It’s clear then that hybrid cloud is the ideal solution for organisations needing a flexible but secure platform. Furthermore, the future looks bright for this technology, making it a truly forward-thinking proposition. As the hybrid cloud’s capabilities develop, we are seeing edge computing becoming integrated too. This means that the potential of IoT (Internet of Things) can be harnessed, allowing offline working and reduced latency for a range of devices. The emerging technology SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) looks likely to make hybrid cloud working still more practical for businesses needing to accommodate a dispersed workforce.