Let go of everything you know about cloud computing. Forget SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and any other acronym you might think of to describe the common concepts associated with cloud. Now imagine a large enterprise that spans continents and employs hundreds of thousands of people. It is an ecosystem of moving parts, processes, inputs and outputs.
Over time, these processes have become increasingly automated to keep pace with customer demand and global competition. Each process is comprised of one or more workloads—a term used to describe (from a technical standpoint) the work performed in order to complete a process. Each workload may have specific attributes or requirements which dictate where the workload can run.
Compliance requirements affect all global organizations and can restrict the means in which processes are executed. This can stifle an ecosystem's prosperity by limiting the utilization of outside resources, which do not satisfy compliance requirements. When outside resources are out of the question they must be brought inside the ecosystem and within the realm of its own governance. The problem with this scenario is that it takes resources to absorb resources; i.e. building a data center vs. utilizing the exact amount of capacity required to execute a process.
The answer to this dilemma is hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud enables organizations to run workloads with compliance attributes within its boundaries while using outside resources to run others. This is a 'best of both worlds' scenario providing a highly flexible environment that can create significant value if architected correctly. Some industry insiders are forecasting 2013 as the year of hybrid cloud.
My organization is headquartered in the financial district of Manhattan, and we have seen a sharp rise in cloud interest from the financial services sector. This is due to an expanding awareness of how public, private and hybrid cloud can work together to address the security and compliance concerns that have previously slowed adoption. Hybrid cloud is exciting. It enables innovation and creates possibilities for organizations to leverage the public cloud in its current state. As awareness and understanding spread, common roadblocks to cloud adoption will slowly fade and opportunities for cloud services firms will expand.
Ira is the COO for Nimbo, a Cloud Integration company headquartered in New York City. Ira focuses primarily in the healthcare, supply chain and accounting sectors, delivering cloud based solutions and products for clients.