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Why the Hybrid Cloud is Not a Long-term Solution
By Stéphane Donzé, CEO of AODocs 

As on-premises solutions become a thing of the past, enterprises are looking for modern options that satisfy a variety of requirements, from scalability and compliance to agility, security, and more. One solution that's gaining popularity is the hybrid cloud, which is a cloud environment that combines an on-premises private cloud with a third-party public cloud and allows the two systems to share data.

On the surface, "hybrid" sounds like the best option. With security and compliance being top of mind for most enterprise tech teams, the hybrid cloud offers a sense of security by letting companies remain partially in control of their data. Proponents of the hybrid cloud also tout the ease of transition and how much time and money organizations can save since, again, it's only a partial move. While the hybrid cloud may seem more secure and cost effective, it's not a viable long-term solution.

Security Risks

Contrary to popular belief, two is not always better than one. While you may feel like you're adopting the best of both worlds with the hybrid option, you're also taking on the disadvantages of both the private and public clouds, including their security risks.

When data is scattered between multiple systems, the probability of human error increases. Users tend to make copies of documents and datasets that require processing in more than one environment, which can compromise data integrity. With multiple systems, any issue that affects one might also affect the other simply because of the sheer number of moving parts. More moving parts means more cost and complexity to administer.

Cost and complexity

In order to create a properly working hybrid cloud, an organization requires a costly combination of multiple system administration profiles:

  • Network experts for the private network administration and the connectivity between the different systems
  • IT architects for the configuration of the multiple server farms and allocation of on-premises and off-premises resources
  • SaaS administrators for the systems that are on the public cloud

These individuals must work in sync with a large number of moving parts, creating room for human error.

Collaboration impediments

A hybrid cloud, just like an on-premises system, involves private internal networks that complicate the sharing of information with external parties, i.e., non-employees. People working outside of the four walls of your company have to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to connect to internal resources, even if those resources are technically hosted in the cloud. That creates two problems:

  1. Employees cannot effectively work with clients or vendors outside of the organization.
  2. If a company has a large remote workforce, private networks become inaccessible and remote workers can no longer work with internal employees.

On the contrary, collaboration using a single public cloud is significantly easier, since there is no concept of being "inside" or "outside" of the company's private network. Employees can collaborate as usual and have no impediments to sharing documents outside of their organization.

A hybrid approach to cloud computing can be appealing to organizations that may be cautious of committing to one system. It's not a bad option temporarily, but it's not a permanent solution. Whatever cost savings you were banking on by partially moving to the cloud can easily be depleted by the added complexities of a hybrid cloud.

My advice: Don't wait too long to move to the public cloud. You'll be in a much better position when you move 100% to the 21st century.

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About the Author

Stephane Donze 

Stéphane Donzé is the founder and CEO of AODocs, a software company he created from the idea that the enterprise's need for compliance and efficient processes is not contradictory with good user experience. Prior to founding AODocs, he was VP of Engineering at Exalead, a leading enterprise search company. After Exalead was acquired by Dassault Systèmes in 2010, he relocated to California from Paris as VP of Product Strategy. Stéphane has a master's degree in software engineering from Ecole Polytechnique in France (X96). With 18 years of experience in enterprise software, he is passionate about user experience across an organization.
Published Friday, September 06, 2019 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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