Asia Pacific is well and truly the key to growth and opportunity for businesses, with the region contributing to over 60 percent of the global GDP. Since it also houses more than 4 billion unique mobile users, offering mobile applications with an elevated level of customer service will be a key differentiator and paramount to tapping into the region’s economic potential.
Organisations continue to choose cloud to be their default deployment choice — with plans for a hybrid/multicloud future — to effectively address customers’ demand for an ongoing stream of differentiated services, features, and experiences. In fact, IDC found that 70 percent of organisations have deployed multicloud environments, and 64 percent of applications in a typical IT portfolio today are based in either a public or private cloud environment.
Hybrid cloud can empower organisations to use digital capabilities and technologies to help them be service delivery ready and encourage business agility. It allows organisations to focus on innovating rather than chugging along by providing a consistent environment to build, deploy, and manage applications, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.
According to the Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook 2019 report, only 30 percent of organisations have a hybrid cloud strategy. For a hybrid cloud to help accelerate innovation, it should not be built as an afterthought. Here are four questions organisations should ask themselves as they develop a hybrid cloud strategy:
- Is the foundation of your infrastructure reliable and consistent?
Having a solid foundation for hybrid cloud is key to futureproofing the business. With the business environment becoming more volatile and unpredictable, organisations should ensure their hybrid cloud can support applications that address today’s business needs as well as future market and customer demands.
- How supportive is your hybrid cloud platform?
As organisations increasingly digitalise their business, they may need to adopt new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance their operations and deliver delightful customer experiences. To successfully innovate using those technologies, organisations should ensure that their hybrid cloud allows them to design and build infrastructure and applications based on business needs, regardless of the underlying hardware or cloud architectures.An effective hybrid cloud should enable developers to choose from the most recent stable development tools —such as programming languages, databases, and web servers — to build and test their applications. It should also help simplify application development with less setup and configuration by enabling development tools to be installed with a single command, and switch tools easily when necessary.
- Does your hybrid cloud strategy take into consideration DevOps support?
As speed matters in the digital age, organisations should design their hybrid cloud to support DevOps to deliver new applications or services to market faster. With DevOps, developers can work closely with IT operations to accelerate software builds, tests, and releases, without sacrificing reliability. Organisations can achieve this by automating routine operational tasks and including containers as part of their hybrid cloud toolkit. Since containers can offer standardised environments across an application’s lifecycle, they allow organisations to build applications independent of where they will live and can easily move across environments as needed, which helps reduce the time-to-market for new services.
- Security: How does your hybrid cloud strategy measure up?
As hybrid cloud consists of a mixture of environments, it may add complexity to an organisation’s IT environment and widen the attack surface. To overcome those challenges and protect themselves against the ever-changing threats, organisations will need to build security and operationalise it throughout their software delivery pipeline and across their entire IT infrastructure.
Organisations can do so by ensuring their hybrid cloud provides them with insights into and control over their IT environments. Their hybrid cloud should enable them to standardise on repeatable, flexible, scalable, and automated images, patch management, and backup processes. It should also help to quickly detect security vulnerabilities and automatically resolve those issues before they affect the business. Having these capabilities will enable organisations to innovate at speed while minimising potential business risks.
Unlocking your hybrid cloud potential
Although hybrid cloud can offer the flexibility and business agility required to thrive in the non-static business environment, these benefits can only be reaped if the hybrid cloud is built on a foundation that offers security and operational consistency. To achieve this, some organisations are building their hybrid cloud on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). In fact, a recent study by IDC found that RHEL is most frequently used for enterprise management and production (26 percent) and IT infrastructure (20 percent).
Cathay Pacific is one such organisation. By migrating from its legacy infrastructure to a hybrid cloud architecture that is built on RHEL, the Hong Kong airline can now better scale its IT infrastructure to meet evolving application requirements. The new hybrid cloud infrastructure also helped Cathay Pacific to reduce its provisioning times from weeks to under an hour, enabling it to be more responsive to business demands and bring new customer-facing services to market faster.
Organisations need to adopt hybrid cloud strategies in order to catalyse innovation, rather than simply viewing it as a technology stack for productivity. Asia Pacific is well and truly pioneering new opportunities for organisations. It’s important for organisations to capitalise on these opportunities and build their hybrid cloud on a secure and consistent foundation that enables the better delivery of services and workloads. With this in mind, unlocking your hybrid cloud strategy and overcoming the common challenges to adoption, will enable your organisaiton to sustain success through hybrid clouds and provide customers with an elevated level of service.