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“Everything is moving to the public cloud.” We hear that comment a lot in our industry. We’re here to tell you that it’s really not true.

Most companies are taking a public cloud-first approach. When the public cloud is not the right fit, companies look to an on-premises or private cloud solution to fill the gap.  Determining which workloads to put in which cloud becomes the challenge.  You need the right mix of workloads (applications) that transcend all three areas of cloud – on-premises, private and public – determined on a case-by-case basis. The public cloud-only approach will be a recipe for disaster.

Think of it this way:

Applications are like cookies (the baked goods, not the HTTP kind): If you want just one type, all you need is one good recipe that makes a dozen. However, if you want just one vegan/paleo/gluten-free cookie for “that friend”, then you need to make an entirely new batch so that your friend can have that one cookie – and there goes the economy of scale for the one-off situation. Changing just one cookie out of the dozen isn’t an option; it just doesn’t work like that.

Similarly, if your entire team uses an application “out-of-the-box”, then the public cloud will work perfectly. Once you begin to configure and customize applications, however, integration with the public cloud can become problematic.

Take the example of Exchange for email. If an entire organization only needs to be able to send and receive email, and manage a calendar using Exchange, “out-of-the-box” in a public service is the way to go. However, it’s unlikely this will be the case. Departments with varying job functions have diverse email needs which may require customization and application integration that the public cloud cannot deliver.

Hybrid needs to be your strategy.

 Another example: A manufacturing company has a department of workers whose job function is to be on the floor making products, but email is needed to receive HR notices, safety correspondences, corporate updates, and to communicate internally. “Out-of-the-box” Exchange would work perfectly, making this group of workers’ email requirements ideal for the public cloud.

However, there are others – the architects, the designers, the sales people and so forth – that require a higher level of security, document storage and other restrictions (like data sovereignty or latency concerns that impact the end user experience) that aren’t as available in a public environment. An on-premises environment is a must in order to provide these individuals with the email features necessary to perform their jobs.

If we apply a “one-size-fits-all” mindset to this situation, the manufacturing company is either going to cripple the people as a result of poor end user experience and lack of functionality or blow the budget by putting everyone’s email on-premises.

Instead, two cloud environments – public and on-premises –  can be stitched together into a hybrid scenario, providing the customization and cost savings the manufacturing company needs to provide all levels of the organization with the right application.

The reality is that a “one-size-fits-all” solution will not work for every organization. Your cloud solution needs to be as unique as your business applications are. It’s a matter of finding the right place for the right workload.


Our eBook Why the Public Cloud is Not Enough: Maximizing Your Cloud Investment with a Hybrid Solution details why businesses must strategically choose between on-premises, private and public cloud solutions on an application-by-application basis to successfully implement cloud infrastructure.

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