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The New Reality | Hyperscale Clouds and Hybrid IT



Through its explosive growth over the past several years, and steadily expanding presence among global organizations, increasingly, enterprises are discovering the full range of flexibility of the hyperscale cloud and its ability to integrate with their on-premises systems, while still reaping the core benefits. CIOs remain responsible for addressing a growing list of questions, but the one they pose most is no longer, “Why should we move the cloud?”, but rather, “How can we?”

As digitalization, the Internet of Things, and big data continue to grow, so too does the need for greater IT infrastructure: more servers, bigger databases, faster networks. Invariably, in every industry, the need for IT capacity is growing – for some, at an alarming rate.

Each year, as these factors continue to fuel web and mobile demand and test the limits of traditional enterprise IT, more and more businesses are looking beyond their own data centers to the elasticity, agility, and scalability of the hyperscale cloud. Gartner recently published a report that projects the worldwide public cloud services market to grow 18 percent in 2017, to nearly $25B, with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers like AWS, Microsoft, and Google projected to grow a robust 36.8 percent. Suffice it to say, the hyperscale cloud is no longer only a go-to IT solution for startups or midsized companies, but for enterprises too.

Hybrid IT is the game-changer
In the past, while enterprises recognized the advantages of the public cloud, most were reluctant to move any part of their infrastructure due to a lack of cloud competency or the misconception that migrations must be done at large scale – that entire environments must be moved to take advantage of the cloud. What more enterprises are discovering, though, is that through hybrid architectures and proper know-how, the public cloud can be leveraged regardless of where they are in their IT journeys.

CIOs and CTOs are no longer putting the cloud on the backburner in their solution consideration. With the hyperscale market’s consistent and robust growth, enterprises are beginning to adopt cloud-first mentalities – particularly those that have already moved applications or workloads to the cloud and experienced its dynamic advantages and transformative potential first-hand.

“Organizations are pursuing strategies because of the multidimensional value of cloud services, including values such as agility, scalability, cost benefits, innovation and business growth,” states Sid Nag, Director of Research at Gartner. “While all external-sourcing decisions will not result in a virtually automatic move to the cloud, buyers are looking to the ‘cloud first’ in their decisions, in support of time-to-value impact via speed of implementation.”

Incrementally, not all at once
Agility, not just post-migration but during, has been a key influencer of recent hyperscale cloud growth. Moving single applications at a time, as well as lighter environments (test, dev, QA, etc.), enterprises can execute migrations incrementally, in a matter of days or even hours, rather than weeks or months.

With each successful migration, or app build, enterprises grow more familiar with the cloud, moving heavier workloads and more critical apps each time. This fluid hybrid IT model, typified by incremental adoption, has been a catalyst for the hyperscale market – the reality that enterprises can move to the cloud at whatever pace they or their IT organizations are comfortable with. In short, the hyperscale market has created the hybrid market, with the two now working in tandem, and enterprises are beginning to take advantage of hybrid architectures’ increasingly dynamic capabilities.

“While some organizations are still figuring out where cloud actually fits in their overall IT strategy, an effort to cost optimize and bring forth the path to transformation holds strong promise and results for IT outsourcing (ITO) buyers,” Nag says. “Gartner predicts that through 2020, cloud adoption strategies will influence more than 50 percent of IT outsourcing deals.”

It goes without saying, any migration will look differently for you than it will for any other business considering the hyperscale cloud. And inevitably, you will still face a number of complex challenges with each. But you can take solace in the fact that you don’t have to choose between your on-premises systems and the Cloud. And if the massive growth of IaaS provider’s like AWS and Microsoft over the past several years is any indication, hybrid IT should be the next stage in your organization’s journey.

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