Cloud computing is entering its second decade with continued hype and a few remaining misconceptions. Although more and more organizations are turning to the cloud to transform their business, the choice to adopt cloud technologies must be for the transformative outcomes cloud can deliver, rather than for the sake of following the trend.

Choosing cloud technologies is not an all-or-nothing decision, nor a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about finding the right place for the right application.

Your Options: Three Cloud Possibilities Defined

The Internal “On-Premises” Cloud: Data centres owned and operated by the businesses that use them provide an on-premises solution that can enable full customization and more control, which is ideal for mission-critical applications.

Maximizing the efficiency of your data centres is the first step to “data centre Nirvana”, creating an “internal cloud” that provides the self-service, automation, agility and efficiency a public cloud can deliver.

The Private Cloud: Managed by a third-party provider, a private cloud offers dedicated infrastructure for individual clients. When existing infrastructure investments cannot meet the demands of your organization, a private cloud can provide the scalability, customization and control capabilities your workloads require. In addition, the private cloud can provide the needed agility, security and guaranteed performance if your organization lacks the skill to manage cloud environments.

The Public Cloud: Data centres are owned and operated by third-party service providers, and customers share from the same infrastructure pool. A public cloud, like Microsoft Azure and AWS, offers global reach, on-demand scalability and commoditized cloud services at a lower cost. However, limited customization is possible.

Just like each company is unique, each cloud solution needs to be as well, tailored to the applications, changing demands and internal requirements of each organization. Every cloud solution requires a unique blend of elements – public, private and on-premises. We call it Hybrid IT.

Why Three Clouds Are Better Than One: Three Points of View

To understand the value of a hybrid solution, look at how certain application considerations affect your choices:

  1. Latency – The speed at which you are able to send and receive data from an application will dictate where your application will reside. If an application requires low latency, meaning faster data transfer, an on-premises solution is best practice. In a private or public cloud scenario, the physical distance between the user and the application could inhibit the necessary latency requirements.
  1. Customization – The nature of an application, its hardware requirements and the need for customization to meet business goals will dictate the type of cloud an application will live in. If high levels of customization are required, the public cloud will not suffice. A private cloud would be ideal to achieve customization requirements and cost-effectiveness.
  1. Data Sovereignty – Government compliance and industry or internal regulations may control where data can reside. It may be compulsory to use an on-premises solution or strict private cloud solution. As more public cloud service providers expand their global data centre footprint (like we saw with Microsoft’s new Canadian data centres), data sovereignty is becoming less of a barrier for public cloud access. However, sensitive data regulations may continue to dictate the type of solution an organization can use.

The right cloud solution is a hybrid cloud solution where applications have a host of considerations that need to be addressed. By looking at the examples of latency, customization and data sovereignty, it is clear one cloud cannot do the job alone. That’s why three clouds are better than one. Hybrid needs to be your strategy.

In our eBook, Why Public Cloud is Not Enough: Maximize Your Cloud Investment with a Hybrid Solution, we explain that an effective hybrid cloud combines different cloud types across platforms. You can manage all resources across on-premises, private cloud and public cloud platforms, while blending various consumption models based on the needs of your organization, your workloads, and even the distinct facets of a single application.

If you’re wondering how your organization can begin to implement hybrid IT, join our free cloud-enablement webinar, “Why the Public Cloud is Not Enough: Maximizing Your Cloud Investment, on January 26, 2017 at 1 p.m. EST, to walk through a cloud and application assessment with a Long View cloud architect. Register Now.