Hybrid Cloud: The Future of Enterprise Application Strategy

Vishal Awasthi, CTO, Dolphin Enterprise Solutions Corporation
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Vishal Awasthi, CTO, Dolphin Enterprise Solutions Corporation

Vishal Awasthi, CTO, Dolphin Enterprise Solutions Corporation

The shift to hybrid cloud solutions is undeniable. According to MarketsandMarkets, the hybrid cloud market is expected to reach $85 billion in 2019, up from $25 in 2014. As CIOs look to make organizational changes in 2016 in an effort to lower costs and reduce IT complexity, many will evaluate the decision to move to a hybrid cloud solution.

"SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform is an example of a platform that enables organizations to implement innovative, cloud-based applications that are also tightly integrated with the on-premise system of record"

While cloud storage and cloud hosted applications have long been popular options for many CIOs, many organizations are still reluctant to abandon the safety and security of on-premise systems or relinquish control of key business assets. A hybrid cloud solution provides CIOs the best of both worlds. Organizations can use hybrid cloud solutions to provide users with new innovative technology that fills key business requirements without compromising the system of record. The decision to adopt a hybrid IT model, however, is not a simple one and challenges can present themselves through the process. Therefore, it is important that all potential risks be evaluated before making the leap.

Setting Up For Success

Like any major IT decision, hybrid cloud presents great promise for organizations, but also challenges. Cloud storage, the most mature cloud technology, enables organizations to store volumes of structured and unstructured data that accumulates in systems over time. For this reason, many organizations have already eagerly moved storage needs to the cloud while keeping applications on-premise. In addition, cloud-based applications are rapidly becoming more prevalent, as organizations look for ways to modernize legacy systems and introduce innovative new functionality without incurring major capital expenses.

To provide the greatest value now and in the future, organizations must look for hybrid cloud solutions that can work seamlessly with the chosen system of record. SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform is an example of a platform that enables organizations to implement innovative, cloud-based applications that are also tightly integrated with the on-premise system of record. Using this platform, organizations can extend existing SAP applications and processes to the cloud, so the business can increase its agility without sacrificing the value in the existing system of record. These cloud-based solutions can be quickly rolled out to the field, resulting in a lower project overhead and quicker time to innovation.

Hybrid cloud solutions that are built on integrated platforms, such as the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, also reduce security risks which is a major concern for many organizations considering moving off of on-premise systems. Built for tight integration with on-premise systems, these platforms can easily leverage the on-premise system’s existing security infrastructure and extend the same controls into the cloud. The reduced complexity and risk is a major benefit to organizations and ensures that the real control over the solution remains with the organization itself.

Making the Most of Hybrid Cloud

So how does it all work? For starters, one must understand that cloud solutions are not merely a substitute to on-premise solutions. Instead, hybrid cloud should complement on-premise solutions, extending what the business already has in place and eliminating the need to invest in new infrastructure components.

Dolphin customers, for example, are using cloud-based invoice processing solutions to enable faster, more efficient processing of Accounts Payable invoices while also leveraging the organizations’ existing accounting solution. This is achieved using our “Advanced Approvals” solution available through the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. The solution allows users to quickly and easily review, correct and approve invoices while on-the-go using a mobile device through a simple and responsive user interface. Because the solution is available on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform it can easily be exposed to users using a simple URL. The platform offers a variety of user authentication options, which ensures that existing security is maintained without disrupting the core SAP systems or sacrificing deep integration. With the solution in place, organizations can accelerate invoice approvals and take advantage of its potential benefits, such as the reduction of processing cost, risk mitigation and maximization of cash discounts.

For businesses that are looking for ways to improve processes through highly integrated out-of-the-box applications, the hybrid cloud option provided by solutions such as Dolphin Advanced Approvals ensures that organizations can easily offer users advanced functionality and a modern user interface while also minimizing complexity, IT costs and collateral risk to the systems of record.

Extend Solutions and Support Innovation

Hybrid cloud will continue to be a buzzword well into 2016 and with good reason. It provides maximum benefits to organizations with minimum costs by bringing together the best of both worlds. It also offers unprecendented flexibility, increased business agility, scalability and can be integrated into existing cloud environments and on-premise systems of record. Best of all, hybrid cloud solutions make the transition from on-premise systems to cloud solutions seamless for end users while also alleviating pressure on the IT department. These solutions are easier to deploy and administer than traditional on-premise solutions. With very little set up, they are securely available on various devices and are seamlessly integrated with the system of record. Administrators only need to worry about deploying the new cloud-based functionality and do not need to have extended discussions with the network/ firewall teams.

As the transition to hybrid cloud continues to accelerate and its adoption becomes mainstream, CIOs will be faced not with the question as to whether or not they should make the leap, but rather, when. Making the shift to hybrid cloud is a fast and cost-effective way to remain relevant while leveraging existing technologies that complement core ERP systems. However, like any other IT decision, consideration into its implementation and understanding of its full potential must be carefully reviewed in order for it to be successful.

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