For several years, it is predicted that cloud computing practices would accelerate and each year these expectations have been exceeded. For 2015, we see the intelligent hybrid cloud finally taking center stage as businesses seek ways to address security, control and performance issues and manage ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) risks.
Many pundits throughout the world are anticipating a high-growth year as cloud technologies continue to mature. Asia Pacific is no exception. Across the region, governments and businesses are increasingly acknowledging the value of cloud computing as a tool to help build a strong knowledge economy and increase trade. In its latest Cloud Readiness Index1, the Asia Cloud Computing Association reports that countries across the entire region continue to improve their preparedness for cloud computing.
Those with a coherent “cloud first” strategy in both government and business development, such as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, are leading the way, but all countries are making steady improvements by adding physical infrastructure and supportive policies.
As conditions for cloud deployments become more positive for businesses in Asia Pacific, we believe that the intelligent hybrid cloud is the platform that will dominate. Several factors are driving the trend towards hybrid cloud solutions: security, control and performance are key.
Security issues are gaining importance in the boardroom, as BYOD deployments continue. Managing the risks associated with unsanctioned consumer apps in the workplace will only become more challenging. 2015 will bring new cloud security innovations and we will see many CIOs seeking to extend the security of their VPNs to a variety of cloud services.
These developments will demand that businesses adopt a tailored end-to-end security policy as cloud and mobile converge in the workplace.
Gaining greater control over the cloud network is also crucial. Successful businesses need highly secure, dynamic and flexible on-demand access to their cloud of choice. Adopting a balanced hybrid solution gives the CIO this bandwidth control and will permanently change their approach to using cloud resources.
We expect this factor to drive cloud adoption aggressively over the next year, with companies from retail, finance, manufacturing and healthcare already taking notice.
The hybrid cloud also helps overcome concerns about the performance and reliability of cloud technology. Businesses want the predictability and security of a private cloud and the scalability and speed to market of a public cloud. With a hybrid system, IT and R&D teams have the flexibility to move workloads and scale IT resources in a way that makes sense – whether they need the performance and privacy of a dedicated cloud service for a mission- critical launch or the capacity and elasticity of the public cloud to meet unexpected short- term spikes in bandwidth demand.
This flexibility also helps businesses and governments comply with the data residency regulations now in effect in many countries to protect the privacy of citizens’ sensitive personal information.
Using a mix of cloud models while making the corporate network as flexible as the cloud gives enterprises confidence they can migrate their business systems, manage workloads and make best use of their IT infrastructure. A hybrid cloud strategy will be a powerful tool for CIOs with a focus on business network development in 2015.
The author is Jon Summers, Senior Vice President, Growth Platforms, AT&T