Modernize IT Infrastructure in a Hybrid World

Navigate private cloud, public cloud and the edge for infrastructures of the future.

A CIO sitting in the office is trying to decide the most appropriate mix of cloud solutions and whether to use edge computing to manage the integration of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) or blockchain.

The CIO knows cloud will be part of the future, but believes hybrid solutions will help to address the challenges of disparate IT environments.

“It is a journey to a mix of IT — traditional, cloud and edge,” said Santhosh Rao, Senior Director Analyst, during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Dubai.

By 2022, cloud shift across key enterprise IT markets will increase to 28%

Enterprise IT spending for cloud-based offerings will grow faster than traditional (noncloud) IT offerings through 2022. By 2022, cloud shift across key enterprise IT markets will increase to 28%, up from 19% in 2018. “Organizations without a cloud-first strategy — where the cloud is primary, prioritized and promoted — will likely fall behind competitors,” said Rao.

Read more: Cloud Shift Impacts All IT Markets

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As cloud computing becomes mainstream, public and private cloud are driving digital business. However, the volume and velocity of data generated from sensors and IoT endpoints is also forcing CIOs and IT leaders to deploy edge computing to process data closer to the source of data generation, “things” and users. “Edge computing is the left turn on the journey and further expands the mix,” said Rao.

CIOs will face the challenge of selecting the right mixture of cloud and traditional IT for the organization.

The purpose of private cloud

By 2020, Gartner predicts that less than 5% of enterprise workloads will be running in true on-premises private clouds. Enterprises deploy private clouds when public clouds are deemed inappropriate or inadequate. Most internal private clouds are single-tenant or serve a specific internal use case or business unit, but are difficult to scale.

Private cloud is best for organizations with dynamic or unpredictable computing needs that require direct control over their environments to meet security, business governance or regulatory compliance requirements.

Read more: 5 Questions to Answer When Building a Cloud Strategy

The rise of public cloud

Gartner projects public cloud services to reach $214 billion by 2019, an increase of 17.5% over 2018. Public cloud is increasingly popular due to cost savings, better security than on-premises options and a belief that everything will eventually shift to the cloud.

As part of the cloud-first strategy, organizations must advance the use of public cloud services by adopting a multicloud model, which involves using multiple (two or more) cloud computing vendors at once. Most organizations are using a single provider for their workloads, but 30% will likely diversify a portion of their application portfolio on a secondary provider.

“Multicloud is no longer a matter of ‘if’ — it’s a matter of ‘when,’” said Rao. “Multicloud computing lowers the risk of cloud provider lock-in, and can provide service resiliency and migration opportunities, in addition to the core cloud benefits of agility, scalability and elasticity.”

Hybrid architectures will become the footprints that enable organizations to extend beyond their data centers and into cloud services

While some CIOs will favor multicloud computing, others will choose a hybrid cloud model. Hybrid cloud refers to using multiple cloud services from both public and private providers to create another cloud service.

Hybrid cloud offers the best of both worlds — the cost optimization, agility, flexibility, scalability and elasticity benefits of public cloud, in conjunction with the control, compliance, security and reliability of private cloud.

“Hybrid IT will be the standard in 2019. Hybrid architectures will become the footprints that enable organizations to extend beyond their data centers and into cloud services across multiple platforms,” said Rao.

Edge completes the cloud

The volume and velocity of data generated from sensors and IoT endpoints will force organizations to deploy edge computing alongside private/public cloud. Edge computing places content, data and processing closer to applications, things and users with the goal of reducing latency. The technology will complement cloud computing, with half of large organizations integrating edge computing principles into their 2020 projects.

“Cloud computing and edge are complementary, rather than competitive or mutually exclusive,” said Rao. “Organizations that use them together will benefit from the synergies of solutions that maximize the benefits of both centralized and decentralized models.”

Edge will be the growing frontier of IT managing latency, bandwidth, data privacy and autonomy

CIOs can use cloud computing as a style of computing to create a service-oriented model and a centralized control and coordination structure. They can use edge as a delivery model to distribute aspects of the cloud service to operate in a distributed or disconnected way. In addition, some CIOs are using edge topological ideas to cut WAN costs by half, while improving resiliency and improving user experience by 200%.

Cloud computing has become the new normal for modern IT environments — cloud adoption rates among organizations are projected to jump from 68% in 2017 to 85% in 2019. “Edge will be the growing frontier of IT managing latency, bandwidth, data privacy and autonomy,” said Rao.

Gartner clients can read more in “The Edge Completes the Cloud: A Gartner Trend Insight Report” by Bob Gill and David Smith, and “How to Use Edge Computing in IoT Projects: Three Case Studies” by Santhosh Rao.

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