Cloud computing has become an integral strategy for growing businesses looking for better scalability and improved operational efficiency. Cloud-based solutions provide access to unlimited storage services, better accessibility, and dedicated, 24/7 IT support. But does this mean every business application should be moved to the cloud? Not necessarily.
Businesses transitioning to a cloud-based environment, as part of their cloud strategy, need to consider the cost, sustainability, and security implications of migrating each individual application and service. In some cases, moving an application or service off-premises may not be viable. The following are the types of applications and workflows that should never be moved to a public cloud setting
Applications with Data-Sovereignty Requirements
Laws and regulations such as the Australian Privacy Principles and European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require international organizations to meet certain standards of data privacy and protection. These, and similar data sovereignty requirements place limitations on where data can be stored. For example, Germany, Russia, and France mandate that their citizens’ data be kept on-premises, in-country. Therefore, any applications and workloads that utilize this data must be kept off the public cloud. In addition, many compliance regulations require certifications not currently available in the public cloud.
A hybrid cloud deployment is ideal for workloads with data sovereignty or compliance restrictions. Development of the workloads may occur in the public cloud using sanitized datasets. These workloads can be deployed on a private or public cloud platform, depending on the locality’s specific requirements. In this way, organizations can leverage cloud-first principles while still maintaining regulatory compliance.
Across the globe, countless areas still exist where the internet is unreliable or unavailable. Even in the US, strong connectivity isn’t ubiquitous. If your organization has locations in such an area, cloud-dependent applications or workflows may prove to be a hindrance or even a liability.
The size of the workload, or the demand on the application, may be latency-sensitive or too bandwidth-intensive for a cloud-based deployment. In these cases, we recommend keeping workflows and applications on-premises. It may be a tough break, but with weak connectivity, the cloud won’t provide any benefit when it comes to these demanding workflows and applications.
Applications & Workflows with Low-Latency Requirements
Certain workflows and applications process a high volume of data messages and must do so with minimum delay (e.g. financial trading, manufacturing floors). Naturally, every network experiences a certain degree of latency—which gets generally worse with distance. Sadly, we cannot make light move any faster. Therefore, applications that produce information that must be processed and analyzed in real-time will likely not be able to utilize public cloud resources.
Consider a manufacturing floor with a sea of IoT sensors monitoring the production line for potential issues. The sensors must process information in real-time to ensure the line continues to function smoothly. In the event of a mishap, it’s critical that action be taken before damage occurs. Thus, an application governing the IoT sensors and manufacturing line would need to remain on-premises.
Benefits of a Hybrid IT Environment
While certain business applications should definitely be kept off a public-cloud environment and need to remain on-premises, this shouldn’t prevent companies from enjoying the scalability and reliability of a hybrid cloud setting. Private cloud alternatives can still provide the security and flexibility your business requires.
Hybrid IT infrastructures are optimal solutions for organizations that require the scalability of a public cloud environment, while managing other workloads in private and on-premises data centers. Managing a mixed IT infrastructure can be a great option for forward-thinking companies who wish to incorporate gradual changes in the way they approach their operational efficiency, without abandoning their legacy applications and services.
Lastly, for many businesses, migrating every business application and service to a public cloud-based environment just isn’t realistic. By adopting a hybrid cloud infrastructure, such organizations can still enjoy an agile environment while providing security and stability for their regulated data and legacy applications. If your organization is looking to adopt a hybrid cloud infrastructure, please reach out to us. We’d love to help you get started.