In a recent post, I mentioned discussion with Steve Riley about the notion of “hybrid enterprise.” I think it’s important to expound on exactly what that means, and what this will look like. We’ve become accustomed — at least in my circles — to hearing the term “hybrid cloud.” When we say “hybrid enterprise,” we actually mean cloud, and a bunch more! I’d like to lay out a few different ways I see the hybrid enterprise taking shape, and what the future might look like for many enterprises.
Hybrid cloud is indeed a major component of the hybrid enterprise. We see a fast-increasing number of businesses choosing to leverage systems resources both on-premises and in a public cloud. In the RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report, respondents indicated that 51% of companies with a hybrid cloud strategy now have applications running in their hybrid cloud. That’s up from 29% last year! Clearly hybrid cloud is a huge part of the hybrid enterprise, but what else?
The next major component in the hybrid enterprise is SaaS. Smart companies are realizing that in certain situations, the infrastructure does not need to be their responsibility. At this stage, many massive enterprises have had great success offloading e-mail, CRM, helpdesk, project management, and various other types of services to a SaaS provider.
A final major component to the hybrid enterprise is required to support the previous two: a hybrid form of networking. Combining both private and public links (e.g. MPLS + Internet) can help an enterprise most efficiently serve all the needs of the decentralized model it is adopting. Workloads can be characterized and prioritized to use whichever portion of the hybrid network is most suited for them. This allows companies to both save money and maintain high performance and reliability.
These three components and more come together with help from products like SteelHead for WAN optimization, SaaS acceleration, and hybrid networking to form a truly hybrid enterprise. I can only imagine this trend expanding as enterprises find more and more ways to efficiently spread services between public and private to get the most uptime, cost savings, and location-independence. How do you see the hybrid enterprise taking shape in your world?