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Beyond the Hype: Re-Thinking the Cloud

Gary Lyng Gary Lyng
Vice President Product and Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Vantara

June 18, 2024

Re-Thinking the Cloud: From Buzzword to Business Reality

There's no denying cloud computing has revolutionized business. But a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn't exist. Many businesses are now realizing that a hybrid model offers the best of both worlds.

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way many enterprises manage and leverage their digital resources, and as technological needs continue to evolve, so does the way we talk about cloud. Looking back to when it first became all the rage, many fell into the trap of assuming that it provided a no-strings-attached, golden ticket to cheaper running costs. But as organizations began to truly explore this approach, they faced challenges around costs, egress fees, and application needs. As a result, many quickly came to the realization that cloud does not necessarily provide all the answers, or in fact meet every organization’s requirements.

Today, our understanding of how best to utilize cloud changes with the fast-paced developments of the digital landscape. We hear a lot of noise around on-premise and off-premise data, as well as the repatriation of data and applications, to name just a few examples of topics that fall under this umbrella.

These cloud services provide various benefits and drawbacks, and for any business to decide which option is the best fit for them, they must look at balancing the service levels of their business alongside the customer experience they want to provide. And while some businesses may feel they’re successfully navigating their cloud journey, others are only just beginning.

Understanding Your Business Needs is Paramount

In this industry, we often reference ‘customer challenges.’ But the reality is that these aren’t simply challenges, but real-world problems with real-world impacts.

At Hitachi Vantara, one of the ways we ensure we stay up to date on how customer and business demands are evolving is through our research. Out of four surveys we’ve conducted, one of the top business requirements and CIO focuses we continue to see is cyber resilience and security. Unsurprisingly, we're also seeing generative AI and AI for business transformation as another key focus. Insights like these give us an idea of the breadth of priorities organizations must consider today, and the rate at which they can change.

As such, the first step before businesses can begin to understand how to successfully harness the cloud is to understand their problems and priorities, as well as their customers’. Of course, challenges lie in that these priorities are continuously redefined as businesses evolve. This applies especially to many of the industrial markets, where many organizations navigate fast-paced and complex digital transformation journeys.

But there are some data realities across the board. Businesses are united in their efforts to successfully move and store data, as well as how to best capture, manage, retain and deliver it, according to what’s most relevant for their organization. What’s interesting is that many businesses don't know what data they have – and if they don't know what data they have or where it’s located, how can it be protected? Furthermore, why is it being kept when it could pose potential risks? Understanding their data is an increasingly crucial consideration for organizations to meet compliance requirements and enable efficiencies. And these efficiencies in turn impact the application and ultimately the end user experience – so the importance of this task cannot be understated.

Hybrid Cloud: The Power of Choice

Once businesses have reviewed their core requirements, they can begin to move forward with a plan of action.

It’s easy to be enamoured by the initial value of cloud: shared resources and less infrastructure to manage, for most, sounds like a dream come true. Cloud also enables the extensibility of on-premise infrastructure to and with off-premise infrastructure or public cloud. This can bring with it many benefits, including data protection via backup to the cloud, which ensures non-stop operations – meaning the continuation of a positive customer experience. Other cloud service options like cloud bursting, where businesses running out of storage can easily access more from the cloud on-demand, can be highly attractive. However, some applications and workloads need to be on-premise for reasons such as combatting latency issues and security concerns, and to deliver the required level of service.

The range of benefits of these offerings means that today, most businesses want the best and both worlds: a hybrid approach which enables the value, security and extreme performance of on-premise infrastructure, coupled with the agility and flexibility of the cloud.

Transforming Your Business with the Right Environment

Realizing the right approach for your business starts with visibility and management of your data. From there, you can look at cost balances and efficiencies, and then explore the ability to scale up and down, which is crucial amidst economic declines or growths.

The common thread to all of this is the enablement of choice – a key benefit of hybrid cloud. A hybrid setup enables this choice, flexibility and control over how to deploy and consume data, considerations that are also increasingly impacting consumers.

Ultimately, no matter which path you choose, businesses should ensure that their data foundation and the infrastructure they’re deploying – whether on-prem, off-prem, or in a hybrid ecosystem – has the ability for flexibility, intelligence, resilience, sustainability, and most of all, trust. These factors are crucial for organizations looking to not only meet but stay ahead of their evolving technological needs. Watch Our Webinar “Cloud Smart” to learn how to Accelerate Business Outcomes!

Hybrid Cloud: The Power of Choice

With a clear understanding of your needs, you can start planning your cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud offers a compelling solution for many organizations.  It combines the security and performance of on-premise infrastructure with the flexibility and scalability of the cloud.

Hybrid cloud, a worldwide market expected to reach 262 billion U.S. dollars in 2027, offers a multitude of benefits:

  • Data Protection: Backup to the cloud ensures non-stop operations and customer satisfaction.
  • Scalability: Easily access additional storage on-demand during peak periods.
  • Security: Keep sensitive applications on-premise while leveraging the cloud for other needs.

Ultimately, a hybrid approach empowers businesses with choice and control – crucial factors in today's data-driven world.

Take Control of Your Digital Transformation

Don't get caught in the cloud hype.  By adopting hybrid cloud approach, you can take control of your digital transformation. Hitachi Vantara can help you unlock the power of your data with a hybrid cloud solution tailored to your specific needs.

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Gary Lyng

Gary Lyng

Gary Lyng is Vice President, Product Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Vantara.