3 critical questions to ask about hybrid cloud

woman on laptop

Cloud is no longer the future of computing. It’s here. And it’s rapidly changing the way you and other companies do business.

One of the trends that stands out to me is the movement to a hybrid cloud model. A hybrid cloud model uses multiple clouds for service – private, as a mix of on premise and data center supported, and public environments, supported by third parties.

Industry statistics seem to support this trend, too. According to a February 2016 survey by Tech Pro Research, 36 percent of the enterprises that responded stated that they currently use a hybrid cloud model. Another 32 percent were considering it.

In its FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2016 Predictions, IDC projected that 80 percent of enterprises will commit to a hybrid cloud model by 2017. The report also predicted that by 2018, 65 percent of companies’ IT assets will be located offsite in colocation, hosting, and cloud data centers.

Hybrid clouds offer many advantages, among them agility and flexibility.  Enterprises can manage their workload on an application-by-application basis. This enables them to plan for a growing mobile workforce and allot resources to Internet of Things (IoT) applications and big data analytics.

Concerns about the cloud

But when I talk with customers about hybrid clouds, two concerns come up time and again: security and control.

A lot of IT decision-makers have told me they have security concerns. They worry about accessing cloud services via the public internet, and they don’t want to share multi-tenant environments with competitors. They know how complex it can be to protect a network that includes many mobile and IoT devices.

They’re also wary of giving up direct control of their data, applications, and infrastructure. But managing traditional IT infrastructure in a data center can be costly—real estate costs, vendor accreditation, annual certifications, and more.  Not to mention, cloud-based services are becoming more differentiated. If you’re not using them, your company could be falling behind.

If you share these concerns, don’t scrap your hybrid cloud strategy. Instead, ask these three questions. The answers can help you understand what services you need to develop a successful hybrid cloud strategy and which providers may best support you.

1. What network and data security policies do our cloud providers offer?

Security should be top of mind.

Start with the technology and systems that protect the cloud infrastructure. Then, look at the encryption of data transmissions. See how it defends data in transit.

2. What performance objectives can our cloud providers meet?

Uptime statistics reveal the health of your provider’s cloud. Plus, many critical business systems, such as customer relationship management solutions, rely on fast back-and-forth processing. They may not run smoothly over the public Internet.

3. Can we give our mobile workers secure remote access to our corporate cloud?

An access solution that compromises the mobile experience may be as bad as one that undermines security. If your security controls are hard to navigate, people may work around them to save time.

AT&T uses leading network, technology, and service expertise to deliver IT infrastructure as a service anytime, virtually anywhere, quickly and efficiently.  We have invested in our data center business and AT&T Colocation services, allowing clients to extend their private networks, more securely and economically.

AT&T NetBond®, our highly secure connectivity to the cloud, addresses many of the issues that concern IT decision-makers. It “bonds” the AT&T virtual private network in your office to our data centers or your cloud service providers.

This creates a fully connected hybrid cloud solution. You’re free to choose the cloud services that offer the most business benefit, without the security and management concerns faced when using the internet.

AT&T enables businesses to move to the cloud with confidence – simply, securely, and with high performance. Learn more about how our hybrid cloud offerings can help you develop a strategy that fits your business goals.

Christina Cheng Associate Vice President of Cloud & Hosting Solutions AT&T About Christina