This is a common question we hear at OTT, Inc. and the answer is yes—it’s absolutely possible to integrate cloud and on-premises systems and data! This popular approach is often called a “hybrid cloud” system. There are many reasons businesses do this, including:
- Security requirements: keep sensitive or highly regulated data on-premises, while sending workflows and other less sensitive data to the cloud.
- Speed advantages: reduce latency by having a mix of on-premises and cloud systems.
- Specialized business processes: use a mix of on-premises and cloud-based applications based on whatever best meets business requirements.
- Facilitating a transition: support a long-term switch from on-premises to cloud systems.
This is a process that’s often highly customized to the needs and situation of each organization. Because a wide variety of businesses integrate cloud and on-premises solutions or files, there is an infinite array of examples and options for your business to gain ideas from.
Integrations might be based on simply sending data between your on-premises and cloud solutions. Or, an integration might connect applications to enable interoperability between cloud and on-premises tools.
Although it’s impossible to cover the full set of opportunities for creating a hybrid cloud approach within your business processes, here are some examples of options for this strategy:
1. Use on-premises solutions and processes, but keep data storage, backups, or service replication in the cloud
If on-premises solutions provide exactly the functionality you need, there still might be some advantages to storing certain files in the cloud. Businesses sometimes choose to host their data in the cloud or provide backups of key services/processes.
This approach can offer many advantages for businesses, the top two of which are disaster recovery and minimizing data storage costs. Essentially, by keeping data in the cloud your business can eliminate the risk of downtime in case of server failure. Servers can fail for many reasons – ranging from hardware or software problems to a natural disaster. Additionally, if you store the bulk of your data in the cloud to begin with, you’ll reduce the expenses related to purchasing and maintaining your own servers.
2. Use hybrid cloud as part of longer-term transition
Transitioning from on-premises business solutions to cloud-based applications is a major process that can upend a business from the ground up, so for many organizations a phased approach is best. For those in the midst of moving from purely on-premises systems to a fully cloud-based approach, a hybrid cloud can help keep the transition smooth and systematic, without reducing business efficiency or creating data silos.
3. Use some cloud-based apps, but store data on-premises in order to comply with certain security requirements or regulations
For organizations in highly-regulated industries such as finance or healthcare, keeping data on-premises is often necessary in order to comply with stringent security requirements. More and more of these businesses are choosing to adopt a hybrid cloud approach in order to gain the mobility and scalability of cloud-based applications, while maintaining compliance with security and privacy regulations.
However, it’s worth noting that for businesses with a different emphasis on data security, cloud-based applications are often more secure than on-premises systems.
Should you integrate on-premises systems with the cloud?
So these integrations are flexible and common – but exactly how do they work? Are they a good idea for your business? The answer depends on several factors, including what solutions you currently use and what your business goals might be. If you’d like to talk to an expert to help you figure it all out, contact us at OTT, Inc. We’d love to share our decades of experience in business management and intelligence solutions.
[ME1]Link to blog about customized cloud applications