Hybrid cloud is rapidly becoming adopted and embraced for its many benefits. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend. Learn about the other driving forces toward the hybrid cloud movement. 

At the IBM Think virtual conference in May, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna gave a keynote in which he highlighted hybrid cloud as a technology to which enterprises are moving fast in order to digitally transform their businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend.

Legacy Technologies

Krishna sees that macro forces are driving the adoption of a hybrid cloud environment. The first is history. Organizations already have a complicated IT infrastructure made up of apps, workloads, data, messaging and transactional systems, all of which are integrated into security and operations systems. Hybrid cloud enables organizations to take advantage of the cloud without having to completely rewrite and reconfigure existing systems, which makes the transition to cloud much more seamless. No one is going to raze their existing infrastructure wholesale — transformation has to meet enterprise IT where it’s at right now.

Variety of Technologies

Choice is another advantage of hybrid cloud adoption. Vendor lock-in has long been cited as one of the primary drivers of a hybrid, multi-cloud environment, but the story is not so simple as this. Hybrid cloud enables organizations to benefit from innovation, no matter where it occurs: on-premises or in one of many different clouds. When you’re stuck with on-premises infrastructure or in a single cloud, you miss out on other providers’ innovations, and that may be the biggest long-term issue.

Latency

There’s also the problem of the speed of light, which is the universe’s hard cosmic limit on how fast we can transmit information. Cloud providers build their facilities far from urban areas, where most of their customers reside, and that distance creates unavoidable latency. That latency can cause severe problems for use cases that are sensitive to delay, such as a manufacturing floor, where robots need information in real-time to make split-second, precision adjustments. By keeping at least some of the infrastructure, applications and data on-premises, we can eliminate that latency, while still taking advantage of the cloud for applications that don’t need real-time interaction and response.

 

Legal Compliance

Additionally, there are legal reasons to adopt hybrid cloud. Compliance regimens differ from country to country, and many require data created within their borders to remain there.  A hybrid approach with a multi-cloud environment can enable organizations to achieve compliance across regions.

 

Covid-19 Pandemic

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the adoption of hybrid cloud, in part because it makes it far easier to provide applications and data to people working from home. While the lockdowns from earlier this year may have loosened, many people continue to work remotely, and businesses are well aware that another wave of lockdowns is possible. With hybrid cloud, organizations can more efficiently provide access both for IT administrators and end-users with the tools they need to do their work without having to come into an office.

The enterprise was already moving rapidly towards hybrid cloud, and the pandemic has pushed the gas pedal to the floor. It’s the fastest, most efficient way to leverage the cloud without rearchitecting apps and infrastructure.