Servers & Systems: The Right Compute

Why hybrid IT is just right for small and midsize businesses


Hybrid Blog.jpgFor small and midsize businesses, it can be hard to know which IT infrastructure options to choose. Do you move to the cloud or stay on premises? Here's why the answer is both.

It can be tough to understand which IT infrastructure options are the right fit for your small or midsize business—especially if you're working with limited budget and IT staff. If you've already invested in on-premises systems, but also want to experience the benefits of the cloud, good news: With hybrid IT, you don't have to choose.

Hybrid IT allows you to maintain your legacy systems where appropriate and integrate new solutions that will help you both keep your data safe and mine valuable insights from that data.

Security stays top of mind

As you seek new and innovative ways to support your business data needs, the cloud is likely to pique your interest. After all, the economics of cloud computing and instant scalability are its hallmarks. If you need more virtual machines, compute, or storage to support your growing data needs, you simply provision it and start paying for it.

But how secure is the cloud?

For years, the community around the cloud has touted its security properties as an argument for making the move. Cloud providers do have a very strong security posture, but they need to. With all that customer data stored in the cloud, they're an attractive target. Still, cloud providers don't always disclose all security layers, and for some industries, such as finance and health care, specific security protocols must be supported.

In cases such as these, you may feel that you're better served hosting your workloads (servers, applications, networking, storage, etc.) on premises. But managing and maintaining security protocols in your own data center is equally fraught with risk.

Since SMBs typically lack the resources to fend off an attack, your business is an attractive target for hackers. In 2017, according to Ponemon Institute, 61 percent of SMBs reported a cyberattack; each attack averaged $2,235,000 in costs stemming from damage and theft of IT assets, and disruption to normal operations.

Then, of course, there are the naysayers who claim that traditional on-premises infrastructures are simply not flexible enough to meet the demands of modern businesses.

What are your options?

Cloud isn’t the only way to go

Much discussion has focused on the idea that the public cloud is a cure-all for SMBs. That's not the case. The truth is there are two sides to the equation. Despite the cloud's many benefits, people aren't flocking to it in droves. In addition to persistent security concerns, a big reason is cash.

Although expenses start out low, over time the operational costs of using the cloud can creep up. It's a phenomenon know as the "cloud cliff," where an over-reliance on the public cloud leads to performance, cost, or control issues, and even pricey migrations back out of the public cloud.

For SMBs, the cloud is an option, but it's not the only one. Many SMBs will—and should—retain an on-premises computing environment, in addition to their choice of cloud, because the world of IT is increasingly hybrid. The real challenge is determining which workloads to run where.

Hybrid IT is a happy medium

Hybrid IT solutions for SMBs provide a simple, secure, and affordable middle ground that straddles the line between cloud fervor and traditional approaches to IT. By choosing a partner like HPE, you can combine the right mix of traditional IT and the public cloud to help you meet your business goals—all while letting HPE take care of the back-end considerations that keep your data safe.

By taking a hybrid approach, you can integrate new technologies for greater data insights where needed, and maintain legacy systems where appropriate. You might choose to run latency-sensitive applications on premises, for example. You might also choose to migrate from an on-premises data analytics platform to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, because it's simpler to deploy and easier to administer than running analytics workloads onsite. Hybrid IT is all about strategically deciding where your workloads will live—not going all in one way or the other.

Achieving the right hybrid strategy for your small business is easier than you think. For tips and insight into defining a hybrid environment securely, simply, and cost efficiently, download SMB Hybrid IT for Dummies.

Caron Beesley.jpgMeet Servers: The Right Compute blogger, Caron Beesley, Technology Advocate, from Small Business to Enterprise.

Caron Beesley advocates for the advancement of technology adoption in both enterprises and small businesses alike. She is a contributing author at the Small Business Administration (SBA), among other organizations, and writes frequently on cloud, cybersecurity, big data, and other innovative technologies.



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