Many pundits forecast a high-growth year as cloud technologies mature. Canada is no exception. Across the country, more and more businesses are seeing the value of cloud computing as a tool to help build a strong knowledge economy and increase trade.
As conditions for cloud deployments improve for businesses in Canada, we think the intelligent hybrid cloud is the platform that will dominate. Several key factors are driving the trend toward hybrid cloud solutions: security, control, predictability and performance.
Security is top of mind in every boardroom. And the issues are growing as BYOD deployments continue. Managing the risks associated with unsanctioned consumer apps in the workplace will only become more challenging. 2015 will bring new cloud security innovations and we’ll see many CIOs seeking to extend the security of their VPNs to a variety of cloud services. These developments will require businesses to adopt a tailored end-to-end security policy as cloud and mobile converge in their workplace.
Gaining greater control over the cloud network is also crucial. Successful businesses need highly secure, dynamic and flexible on-demand access to their cloud of choice. Adopting a balanced hybrid solution gives the CIO bandwidth control and will permanently change their approach to using cloud resources. We expect this factor to aggressively drive cloud adoption over the next year. Companies from retail, finance, manufacturing and healthcare are already taking notice.
The hybrid cloud also helps overcome concerns about the performance and reliability of cloud technology. Businesses want the predictability and security of a private cloud and the scalability and speed-to-market of a public cloud.
With a hybrid system, IT and R&D teams can move workloads and scale IT resources in a way that makes sense – whether they need the performance and privacy of a dedicated cloud service for an important launch, or the capacity and elasticity of the public cloud to meet unexpected short-term spikes in bandwidth demand.
This flexibility also helps businesses and governments comply with the data residency regulations in many countries to protect the privacy of citizens’ sensitive personal information.
Using a mix of cloud models while making the corporate network more flexible helps enterprises migrate their business systems, manage workloads and make best use of their IT infrastructure. A hybrid cloud strategy will be a powerful tool for CIOs with a focus on business network development in 2015.
Jon Summers is the senior vice president of Growth Platforms for AT&T.
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