No small- and medium-sized business (SMB) can remain competitive without using at least one form of cloud service. For many SMBs, however, the challenge has always been how to choose the best cloud strategy, which often entails deciding whether to use a private or public cloud. Fortunately, deploying cloud solutions is not an either-or proposition.
A hybrid cloud refers to an IT infrastructure that combines computing resources hosted in private clouds, public clouds, and on-premises systems. While both private and public clouds offer unique benefits, a hybrid cloud model offers the advantages of both. And it appears that businesses have become increasingly reliant on this configuration — based on a 2021 study, more than one-third of businesses have adopted a hybrid cloud strategy.
How does switching to a hybrid cloud benefit small- and medium-sized businesses?
Developing an existing cloud infrastructure allows you to remain competitive, enjoy lower capital costs, and experience unlimited scalability. Aside from these benefits, switching to a hybrid cloud infrastructure provides the following advantages.
It makes computing resources more accessible for a distributed workforce
Most companies now have employees working from different locations (some across different time zones), and it’s thanks to the cloud that they can do so. With that kind of workforce structure, an on-premises-only system is no longer sufficient. Integrating cloud solutions into your IT environment lets your employees access data and programs regardless of their location.
That said, it’s perfectly understandable that some businesses might want to keep their on-premises systems — and that is why deploying a hybrid cloud setup makes all the difference. If your business has a hybrid cloud setup, you can still rely on your in-house data centers that allow you to have complete control in terms of data access, system configuration, and security and uptime settings.
It improves your business continuity strategy
Natural or man-made disasters can strike a business at any time, and with a distributed workforce, the dangers tend to be more difficult to mitigate. If you rely mainly on in-house servers, you may be more susceptible to data loss in case disaster strikes. Moreover, your ability to survive disasters will largely depend on whether you have sufficient off-site backup. Without one, businesses in certain industries including financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing may have to shut down operations until the servers go back online. Having a hybrid setup means you are never incapacitated should an in-house server crash. The cloud is especially useful in ensuring you can retrieve data and staff can continue to work in case of any issues.
It enhances data security
Some SMBs may feel that the cloud is not secure enough for their data and choose to keep all data assets and computing resources on-premises. The reality is that with a hybrid cloud setup, businesses have greater control over their IT resources’ security posture. You can leverage the public cloud and use it for data with lower risk profiles while keeping your critical data in a private cloud and/or on-premises systems. You can also fortify your cybersecurity infrastructure by implementing measures like encryption, access control restrictions, and other IT system protections.
It reduces costs and increases scalability
Before it became normal to use the cloud, many companies were compelled to invest in an on-premises infrastructure. But this required significant investment in hardware and software which many SMBs find prohibitive. As the cloud grew in popularity, businesses became less burdened with managing their own computing resources. Deploying a hybrid IT infrastructure is particularly crucial in relieving businesses of this burden.
SMBs like yours can also use the public cloud to expand computing resources as business needs change. That means you can quickly adjust to changes in computing demand. Best of all, you can scale operations as the need arises and pay only for the additional resources you need.
HERO Managed Services LLC’s Cloud Services are designed to help small- and medium-sized businesses get the most out of hybrid cloud environments, with flexible pricing that won’t break the bank. Need to learn more about cloud IT? Download our FREE eBook, Demystifying the Cloud: What it is and why you should care. If you’re ready to implement cloud solutions for your business, give us a call – (727) 291-9461.