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,
- 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.
- 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.