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Can Hybrid Cloud Be Simply Understood?

Most people won’t make a purchase unless they understand its uses and benefits. Business leaders today use phrases common within an industry, but not always to the target market. Eventually, those words or phrases are picked up, and become the common vernacular for a product or service. Cloud is one of those words, and now “hybrid cloud” is following close on its heels. And while hybrid cloud might be confusing as a descriptive product phrase, it’s a solution that may interest many people, and be a perfect fit for many businesses.

What is Hybrid Cloud?

Remember when you used to sit in a classroom, trying to figure out how to spell a word? My teachers always said “Break it down, part by part, and it will be easier to figure out.” And hybrid cloud, broken down into two words, is easily deciphered. But what do these two words really mean when they sit side-by-side, and why is hybrid cloud such an important evolution in data storage? A hybrid cloud is the combination of public and private clouds, your on-site storage servers, for example, that individuals and businesses can take advantage of all the features. A hybrid cloud could also be two public clouds that share a connection, a community cloud and a private cloud, or any other mixture of cloud technology that brings two or more cloud setups together, and allow them to “communicate” with each other.

Originally, hybrid cloud solutions were brought to the market as a launching pad for switching IT to either a private or public cloud. Today, however, more businesses are interested in keeping the hybrid cloud solution as a complete solution.

Companies are interested in hybridization because it’s highly flexible. They can keep sensitive information in their private cloud, while placing more routine, peripheral activities in the public cloud, thereby freeing up even more space in their onsite data storage systems. At face value, the concept of a hybrid cloud seems simple, however, in practice, the application of the solution is much more complex.

Benefits of the Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds are extremely efficient if set up appropriately. They provide easy scalability, they improve disaster recovery capabilities, they allow organizations to efficiently manage network assets, and also deploy new applications or functionality quickly. Hybrid is also cost-effective, once the technology is up and running. Although there are always concerns about security in the cloud, hybrid cloud technology allows organizations to effectively manage private and non-private information between the cloud solutions available.

The hybrid cloud is no longer just an alternative for businesses that can’t afford to invest in an on-premise server setup. Instead, it is a highly sought after solution that allows small, medium, and large companies to set up networks in an efficient manner.

The challenges of implementing Hybrid Cloud 

Not many companies currently package hybrid cloud solutions in a tidy service arrangement. Instead, the deployment requires a high level of skill with migration and integration challenges, as with any other network changing solution. Everything must be carefully connected to account for company routing, firewalls, and bandwidth considerations, especially important in today’s world of BYOD and a remote workforce.

Once the hybrid cloud is put in place, companies still face certain challenges with user adoption and modifying the cloud for individual processes. All of these challenges have solutions, but the solutions aren’t easily understood, and may require the help of an outside expert. Currently, a consumer looking for a hybrid cloud solution may need to bring along a cloud computing specialist to truly understand the setup. Although the solution offers exceptional value, many consumers are afraid of taking the leap and moving to this new technology.

Fixing ambiguous marketing

Companies that start the transition to a hybrid cloud setup should never be afraid to ask as many questions as needed to understand the solution. Hybrid cloud setups are popular in many businesses for a reason, and they can transform the way data is currently managed. Great for at-home and remote workers, the hybrid cloud is an often misunderstood solution that could provide incredible value to a variety of companies.

Standardizing the approach to hybrid cloud implementation and focusing on simple, concise marketing could make the solution “feel” less scary and more accessible to the general marketplace. If marketers and technology specialists focus on making cloud technology more understandable for the layman, they might be able to better reach the market that can benefit the most from the hybridized solution.

Additional resources on this topic:

The Enterprise and Hybrid Cloud: What CIOs Need to Know
Is Hybrid Cloud The One True Cloud For Businesses?
Considering the hybrid cloud? Here’s what you’ll need to consider
20 Hybrid Cloud Insights from Top Industry Experts
Destination Cloud: Your path to performance

This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. For more on these topics, visit Dell’s thought leadership site Power More. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

Photo Credit: meravigliosopericoloso via Compfight cc

Daniel Newman

After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change how business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 5x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group and President of V3 Broadsuite, a family of marketing and media agencies that help companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world. I also give keynote speeches around the world on the topics such as digital transformation, technology and marketing.