Hybrid Cloud Adoption: Reasons, Challenges and Future

By : |January 10, 2019 0

Hybrid cloud, a bridge between private and public cloud storage, is gaining traction in India.  According to a report, by the year 2020, 43 per cent of Indian enterprises will adopt hybrid cloud.

The kind of flexibility hybrid cloud provides, enterprises are either have already adopted or preparing themselves to take the step ahead in their digital transformation journey. We spoke to Mr. Balaji Subramaniam, National Business Manager, Digital Infrastructure and Hybrid Cloud, Dimension Data India, to understand reasons, challenges and future.

Hybrid Cloud Adoption Reasons

There are a few reasons part of it is a technical solution and commercial related retails and the other part of it is the mindset. To elaborate on it I’d like to give a little history, almost 20 years back when NPL as a technology came out, a lot of reluctant clients were opting for it. Security was one of the primary concerns those days and when one of the well-known client in the market started adopting it, naturally everyone started following it.

Very similarly every technology goes through a life cycle and hybrid cloud is definitely more matured today than what it was a couple of years back. So, one of the reasons is definitely a mindset shift by the clients and the other important reason is security. There were security concerns among client over the period of time, again the combination of service providers and system interstaters have built a sense of confidence in the clients so the security concerns over the time have reduced.

There is much better connectivity and bandwidth today which is only increasing and improving. There is a much better performance today, so the client is not bothered much about the performance as there has been a lot of development there. The third is the different commercial models available, different consumption-based models, that haven’t been upfront, which was earlier the case. Last but not least, the deployment has become a lot quicker, there are better tools available now.

While skills are still a challenge, I think mainstream skills are available today but again there is a need for improvement in the availability of skills in the market. So, a combination of these issues is increasing the adoption of hybrid cloud in the market.

Hybrid Cloud Deployment Challenges 

I would say Hybrid cloud is probably a subset of the overall digital transformation of a company and we see the clients facing a couple of challenges in this phase. First one is the technology transition that they need to do because there are key changes in the way the applications are built and they are bound and a lot of clients have to migrate to better technology, so there is an investment that goes there.

This actually will have to enable new ways of operating and managing the infrastructure, there is a lot of automation required. Historically, most of the operations were seen as proactive but I would say they were more reactive and today we need the predictive type of management, using a lot of data and analytics around it and that is another big challenge that is faced from an operational standpoint. So, there is one from the technology standpoint, the second is from the operational standpoint and the third is in terms of the commercial models. Clients don’t want to invest everything upfront, they want to pay as they grow. So, clients face challenges like these which companies like dimension data help them to address.

Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

There are two aspects to this, first one is when the client goes for a hybrid cloud option, it has the responsibility to get an understanding from the cloud provider and dimension data can also be the cloud provider. In some cases, we are the cloud provider, and in some cases, we are the system integrators and the provider is somebody else. So, it is important for the client to understand where the security boundaries lie because when we go towards a cloud, it is not necessary that the cloud provider will be responsible for 100% security.

The areas where the cloud provider can be held responsible are the ones where the client is responsible, so the boundaries have to be clearly understood. Here is where dimension data as a system integrator steps in and we can curate a cloud migration strategy where we tell the client very clearly about the technologies that we have to deploy at his end or wherever he is hosting the workloads of the application data, which is on top of what a cloud provider can provide. This starts with a consulting type of approach where the client understands where the boundaries lie.

The second aspect of this is that we have a security reference architecture, which we have created by working with large corporates globally. We have brought this architecture to India as well and when we say that one is often or the best part is this point of view – what the architecture is, how an enterprise should deploy security when it moves towards cloud the second idea as well what do the local governing regulations say. For example, if you look at a bank, one is looking at best practices and the other is looking at what the RBI guidelines say towards security. I am confirming towards that. So, as a system integrator and a cloud provider, we are positioned to advise the client on the right security strategy.

The Rise of Hybrid Cloud Adoption 

So, what we have seen are a couple of verticals in particular out of the numerous verticals that we work with. One is the IT-enabled services vertical, which are fundamentally the IT companies, the software companies, the BPOs; these are the companies which have traditionally been very forward-looking and forward thinking and the ones that are at an initial part of the technology where they are willing to take a risk, if any.

The second vertical can be seen in the private financial sector where we see a lot of adoption in the area of hybrid cloud but with the recent RBI guidelines stating that the data has to be stored locally, I expect even the public finance institutions to move towards hybrid cloud very rapidly in the near future. There is also a lot of drive towards FCC and ANA, largely in the manufacturing sector because of the FCC and ANA requirements, a lot of manufacturers are moving towards the cloud.

Almost 60% of our own digital infrastructure and hybrid cloud business comes from the BFSI sector itself, we have a good experience around. The private sector was the earlier adopter of it, while the public sector has been paranoid about it, but I can see that changing in the near future.

Hybrid Cloud Adoption: The Global Market

From the hybrid cloud adoption standpoint, some countries have adopted at a much faster rate as compared to India if you look at the last two years. I think India is catching up pretty fast, I would say in the next maybe two-three quarters and we are already working on multiple projects across the country at different stages.

I would say in the next 6 to 9 months, India will be as close to any other country as possible in terms both the technology and the workload that is getting deployed as well as any other kind of adoption for most applications. Outside of the regulated environment, I don’t see this slowing down in the near future, it is as good as any other country.


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