Big data is a fact of life and enterprises across the globe are creating more of it than at any other time in history. The cost of storing this information is outpacing IT budgets. Companies of all sizes and across multiple industries are seeking solutions to take back control of their organizations.

This was never so apparent to me than after spending a week at Sapphire Now/ASUG this past May. From the keynote speech to the showroom floor, everyone I spoke with is highly motivated to change their business model to better manage the massive amounts of data being generated. One of the ways to achieve this vision is to digitize and streamline critical business processes.

In the SAP space, this is being achieved by extending existing processes to the cloud by adopting new cloud-based applications that add new, innovative functionality to existing SAP systems. These cloud-based, smart applications are faster, have better user interfaces and efficiently automate previously human driven tasks. They also generate more data that organizations can use to analyze productivity and emerging business trends.

Hybrid cloud-based solutions are increasingly becoming the cornerstone of modern enterprise systems as they enable organizations to bring innovative solutions to customers in weeks vs months. According to MarketsandMarkets, the hybrid cloud market is expected to reach $85 billion in 2019, up from $25 billion in 2014. The shift from on-premise to hybrid cloud solutions is clearly undeniable and is providing customers with the flexibility they so urgently need.

This shift is increasingly being driven by CIOs who are looking to make infrastructure changes that reduce IT complexity and lower costs. 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. As the future of enterprise IT, 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 on-premise data their businesses rely on. The shift to a hybrid cloud solution allows organizations to utilize and achieve the scalability and cost effectiveness that a cloud environment offers. Cutting existing infrastructure costs, ease of scalability, and the ability to access data and applications in a timely manner are all critical consideration factors that can motivate an organization to transition to a hybrid cloud model.

As the transition to hybrid cloud continues to accelerate and its adoption becomes mainstream, CIOs won’t be asked whether or not they should make the leap, but rather, when. The growing confidence in modern hybrid cloud technologies, and the partners that companies align themselves with to modernize processes and simplify IT infrastructure, is apparent across the enterprise.

As customers shift to a digital business model, they require a partner who can manage the data that fuels their business and optimize the business processes that run on it. They seek an established partner that can provide flexible technology solutions that deliver immediate value and that can continue to grow along with the organization’s business and technology roadmap. Hybrid cloud solutions are a good place to start.

Eventually, all enterprise systems and data will be moved entirely to the cloud. In the interim, the hybrid model offers organizations the opportunity for quick access to the cloud, without sacrificing the control offered by on-premise systems. This makes it possible for highly-regulated business functions such as those within the finance area to move to the cloud, while also addressing compliance and regulatory issues.

Making the shift to a hybrid cloud architecture 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 of its implementation and understanding of its full potential must be carefully reviewed in order for it to be successful.

Once a hybrid cloud solution is successfully implemented, organizations are then one step closer to future proofing the business and remaining at the front line of innovation within the marketplace. By gaining control of data, they can get back to building their businesses.

(About the author: Werner Hopf is CEO of Dolphin Enterprise Solutions Corp. He has more than 20 years of experience in the information technology industry, including 15 focused on SAP technologies. Hopf is a well-known expert in data volume management and data archiving strategies and solutions. To learn more, visit www.dolphin-corp.com.)

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