This article originally appeared on Forbes
With the pandemic validating the need for cloud, public cloud services from Amazon, Google and Microsoft are seeing a dramatic increase in usage. According to Gartner, this trend is set to accelerate even further with public cloud services set to grow more than 18 percent in 2021, with sustainable growth continuing through 2024.
Many enterprises are looking to move more of their IT and network workloads to the public cloud to increase agility, increase the pace of innovation and gain access to the developer ecosystems and toolsets that these hyperscalers bring to the table.
But the question remains: which of your assets should move to public cloud, and which should remain on prem or on private cloud?
In most situations, private cloud cannot compete with public cloud
I believe it’s becoming increasingly clear that public cloud should become the default, go-to solution for managing businesses and enterprises. It no longer makes business or technological sense to manage resources internally and develop all applications and tools in-house when you can save yourself considerable overhead by leveraging public cloud. Not to mention, public cloud provides infinite computing power, agility, storage, disaster recovery and security at the highest level. Security specifically, deserves a special mention. According to our research, over 60 percent of US, UK and India IT leaders highlighted this aspect as one of their biggest cloud-based challenges
However, in some cases private cloud may still be preferable
Despite all the benefits of public cloud, there are times when it makes more sense to go private, such as in countries where data residency regulations mandate that data stay within the borders of a specific region. When hyperscalers can’t make this happen, private cloud could be the best solution. Latency is another consideration, as sometimes an on-premise cloud approach may offer better performance.
Then, there’s cost. If an enterprise has just invested heavily in a data center, it may not be economical to move on from that investment right away. But over time, as hardware and software refreshes are required, and the cost of managing the data center grows, chances are that moving to a public cloud environment will make greater economic sense.
Finally, some enterprises may be concerned about getting locked in to a single cloud vendor. While in reality, there are several ways to address this concern, for some vendors, it could still be a reason for not adopting an “all-in” public cloud approach.
For the near future, hybrid environments are inevitable
For many enterprises, a hybrid cloud solution – where some operations exist in the public cloud, and some in private cloud or on premise – is inevitable, at least for now. This is because for large scale enterprises with many, complex IT systems, cloud adoption is a gradual process that will last several years. Moreover, not all of today’s applications are suited for migrating to cloud. This means enterprises will face the challenge of hybrid operations i.e. ensuring functionality of existing apps, operations and tools while the move to the cloud occurs, and at the same time, ensuring that all apps and data works seamlessly irrespective of where they are located on public cloud, private cloud or on prem.
Take your time, but don’t
There are many considerations when planning your cloud adoption program. While public cloud is undoubtedly the way forward, it’s not the only solution or necessarily the ideal solution for all apps and workloads. It’s therefore essential to take great care in planning your cloud journey, ensuring the decisions you take support both your technology environment and specific business needs.