Cloud computing isn’t a new concept. It’s one that businesses the world over have adopted to make their lives easier, make organisations more resilient and to give them greater options when it comes to the software and hardware at their disposal.

But the hybrid cloud is an area that’s expected to grow as we move into 2020. It’s one of the predictions of how cloud computing is set to change from eWeek.

Bruce Milne, vice president and CMO of Pivot3, told the news provider that “software will redefine the hybrid cloud”. He explained that the notion of the hybrid cloud will “capture the essence of software-defined everything”.

“Hardware will still be required, but it could be located anywhere; software will continue to coordinate the increasing complexity to the point where the location of hardware will increasingly become irrelevant in 2020,” he predicted.

Director of cloud marketing at Teradata Brian Wood also believes that the hybrid cloud will come into its own in 2020.

Mr Wood said that it’s a sign that businesses are understanding the benefits of taking a more blended approach to their IT systems. It’s no longer a case of having this or that, but rather a way of looking at how to have this and that, combining the best of different systems.

“Enterprises will diversify IT portfolios to match existing, workhorse on-premises systems with agile, cloud-based deployments for all new projects. The empowerment of AND will reign supreme over the tradeoffs of OR,” he asserted.

But when it comes to selecting hybrid cloud systems, businesses will increasingly be considering how these fit into business strategies, according to senior vice president, chief digital officer and global head of cloud engineering at Atos North America Michael Kollar.

Mr Kollar commented: “CIOs will choose hybrid-cloud scenarios that go across the enterprise and its framework. For example, we’ll see CIOs investing in two cloud providers and using them for different but specific use cases.”

An article for CMSWire last month explored why hybrid cloud systems can offer such benefits to businesses, noting that one of the big advantages to this approach is that a business can “seamlessly scale their on-premises infrastructure up to the public cloud to handle any overflow” during times of peak demand.

The news provider defines hybrid cloud computing as “a computing environment that combines a public cloud and a private cloud by allowing data and applications to be shared between them”.

For many businesses, using the private cloud for certain business functions is important for data security. It cited research from Vanson Bourne, which found that 73 per cent of firms plan to move some applications off the public cloud and back on-premises.

The survey also revealed that security was the most likely factor to have an impact on a business’ cloud plans, with 60 per cent of respondents citing this as a reason to look at their cloud systems.

Just over one-quarter (26 per cent) said that a return to some private cloud services was due to data security and compliance, while 28 per cent described the hybrid cloud model as the most secure option, followed by fully private cloud/on-premises.

The news provider also shared the findings of a survey by Downers Grove, which discovered that 89 per cent of firms intend to develop a comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy during 2020.

Larger organisations in particular are focusing on developing their hybrid cloud capabilities, Olly Presland, vice president of global product management at Downers Grove, noted. He said that this is because it enables “their IT decision makers to use the infrastructure that best suits their project”.

The article predicted that the shift back to private cloud services is predominantly due to security concerns about the public cloud. While this infrastructure has a place in businesses, it needs to be supplemented by secure systems.

“In the near future, hybrid cloud models will focus on keeping core systems in place while using cloud applications to ‘innovate around the edges’,” the news site predicted.

If your business is looking at its cloud computing and wider IT strategy in 2020, what do you need to consider before you jump in with a migration to the hybrid cloud?

An article for Continuity Central suggested that one of the most important things to focus on during the migration of IT services is resilience. This means considering business continuity and how to make sure that there are no data breaches and that no data is lost during the migration.

This means taking the time to create an effective migration strategy before you attempt to introduce hybrid cloud systems to your business.

To do this, you should ask three questions: “Firstly, how can workflow streams be uninterruptible across two environments? Secondly, which applications should be hosted in a public cloud and which should stay on-premises? And finally, how can hybrid workflows ensure continued compliance, especially in the age of GDPR?”

Getting assistance with your IT strategy in central London, and specifically relating to any hybrid cloud migration, is advisable to ensure the migration goes as smoothly as possible and that you have chosen the correct mix of cloud and on-premises systems and applications.

Before you consider moving to a hybrid cloud environment, you need to make sure that you have decided which applications to run on the private cloud and which on the public cloud. Another challenge, especially since the introduction of the GDPR legislation, is regulatory compliance.

The news provider noted that, while hybrid and public cloud systems can give organisations the ability to be flexible and available in a competitive world, this should not be taken at the expense of data security.

One of the main challenges is to make sure you know where data is stored, as this is a key element of the GDPR legislation. As a result of the need for visibility in distributed cloud systems, a new product has popped up in the space: sovereign cloud. This simply means that all data is stored on servers that are on UK soil.

Hybrid cloud is certainly an area to watch and one that could have significant business benefits if implemented correctly, but make sure that you seek advice if you are unsure about how best to use it or introduce it into your organisation.