Talking about cloud environments can be confusing for those who don’t know how to break down the lingo. When I first heard about hybrid cloud, I could wrap my head around the idea easily enough—a cloud solution that leverages both on-premises and cloud-based solutions—but I knew there had to be more to the story.
I began my research with Ian Story, a program director for enterprise content management (ECM) with IBM. Ian, who draws on ECM experience that stretches back to before he signed on with IBM, has also been on the other side of the table—as a customer. I knew, then, that he could help me understand how hybrid cloud fits into the overall cloud story, and he did. While chatting with Ian, I discovered why hybrid cloud is popping up in so many conversations.
Balancing on-premises and cloud creates a sweet spot for hybrid solutions
Using a hybrid cloud solution can help your business enjoy the best of both on-premises and cloud solutions. What’s more, it allows integration of cloud solutions with on-premises line of business systems, including ERP, CRM, HR and more—something that might have otherwise been difficult without some components running alongside your applications in your data center. Yet doing so allows your organization to, for example, verify account numbers when adding documents to a content management system.
Hybrid solutions can simplify mobile work
A hybrid cloud solution allows businesses to choose where to store all their data, making such an approach perfect for an organization that is transitioning between solely on-premises solutions by adding in cloud-based options. Having access to cloud storage and apps can help businesses empower mobile workers. Indeed, simplifying access to what is important means less runaround for all workflows within the business.
Geographical concerns are ripe for a hybrid solution
Some businesses care deeply about where exactly their cloud storage resides. A hybrid cloud solution allows organizations to store their data where doing so makes the most sense, letting them comply with their legal guidelines. Perhaps a business might store personal information and sensitive financial information on-premises, reserving the cloud for marketing collateral and graphic design files that need ongoing collaboration. Such a company can do the same business and provide the same experience—but adjusted to individual needs.
Users can enjoy a seamless experience
Businesses aim to provide all their customers with an identical user interface experience—one that leaves no hint of whether their service comes from on-premises, from a private or public cloud or from a hybrid cloud solution. Seamless integration—including of the mobile experience—means that no one knows, or cares, whether the back-end system is in your data center, and that’s ideal. All that matters is that everything runs smoothly. Ian spoke highly of IBM’s advantage in this space, focusing on the partnership between IBM and Box and the integration thus made possible with offerings in IBM’s ECM portfolio.
When Ian finished his explanation, I knew that hybrid cloud solutions are here to stay. But you don’t have to take my word for it—experts in the space are always ready to engage in conversations about the full range of possibilities offered by cloud collaboration. If you want to chat with Ian, you can follow him at @storyid. For more about my own exploration of ECM hot topics, follow me at @heytheremisty.