Experts weigh in on the power of hybrid cloud solutions for innovation and agility

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Balancing business growth with innovation can be a hard nut to crack if you throw in intense competition and a pandemic. The past year has been a tipping point for cloud adoption as businesses rapidly moved their workloads to cloud platforms in their bid to stay productive and rein in costs. Sporting a mix of on-prem, private, public and multi-cloud infrastructure, hybrid cloud environments have gained more traction in the recent past due to their supreme ability to drive agility. According to a YourStory report, by 2022, over 90 percent of enterprises will rely on a hybrid cloud environment for meeting their infrastructure needs.

The second webinar of the ‘Cloud Dialogues’ delved into how hybrid cloud platforms can help companies navigate through challenging business landscapes by offering them the best features of both public and private cloud and driving innovation for increased productivity and agility. 

Titled ‘Best of both worlds: Unlocking the power of hybrid cloud’, the webinar featured Neeraj Chauhan, CIO, PayU; Harsh Vaishnav, Head of Sales, Data Centre and Cloud, India & SAARC at Cisco and, Mahesh Vandi Chalil, Senior Vice President, Technology at BookMyShow as speakers. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from an engaging panel discussion:

Repatriation to hybrid cloud on the cards

Harsh Vaishnav, Head of Sales, Data Centre and Cloud, India & SAARC at Cisco said that private cloud and on-prem investments aren't going away anytime soon and the interest in public cloud solutions has surged recently due to the uncertainty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “However, a repatriation to hybrid cloud is bound to happen sooner or later. One of the key reasons why this might happen is that the cost of moving to a private or public cloud platform over the next five to seven years might prohibit customers from opting for these solutions.”

Another reason that he attributed to his observation was latency hindrances. “There are certain workloads that need to have a certain amount of latency. More often than not, after moving to the cloud, businesses see latency issues cropping up and impeding business growth. Lastly, security concerns are also keeping several clients from moving to a public cloud platform.”

How does hybrid cloud facilitate innovation and faster go-to-market times?

Mahesh Vandi Chalil, Senior Vice President, Technology at BookMyShow deep-dived into how the COVID-19 pandemic taught the company about the importance of continuous innovation. He went on to talk about how BookMyShow experimented with OTT and keyword platforms in 2020 and how it realised that it was operating at extremely high costs with on-prem investments.

“BookMyShow has a very elastic nature of workloads, thus our infrastructure must enable us to scale on-demand, which pushed us to move to different cloud platforms. When a big movie releases, there is high traffic, but it isn't as high during regular periods. Dedicating that kind of infrastructure throughout the year doesn't make sense,” he explained.

Plus, different kinds of cloud platforms offer several extra services which automatically speed up innovation. "Hybrid cloud enables you to wrap up proof of concept planning or prototyping within a few days, unlike months earlier. With AB testing and faster deployments, you can also speed up your go-to-market time and experiment much faster,” he added.

A full-stack multi-faceted cloud experience with Cisco

Harsh dwelled on Cisco's aim of offering a full-stack multi-faceted cloud experience to its clients, with an unparalleled computing experience, hybrid automation capabilities and observability to harness actionable insights. "One can find all these features in Cisco Intersight, which started as a SaaS management platform to simplify infrastructure operations irrespective of the company's global reach. Over time, it has evolved into a full-blown operating model that can enable our customers to adopt hybrid cloud confidently.”

Hybrid cloud for cybersecurity and compliance requirements

Neeraj underlined the role hybrid cloud platforms played in helping ventures like PayU balance cybersecurity concerns with compliance requirements. “Banks trust PayU due to our direct integrations, which means that all the data that is routed from banks to our infrastructure is via a private channel,” he pointed out.

He also said that specific action items have specific security requirements, which can be difficult to manage in a public cloud environment, given the traffic PayU gets. “Banks and PayU exchange user data securely on a hybrid cloud system by creating a specific landing zone,” Neeraj explained while adding that leveraging the hybrid cloud for data exchange helped it achieve a lot of organic growth.

Manish said that the divide between what the business needs and what IT tools can deliver is the problem that most entrepreneurs are trying to figure out. Cisco addresses this gap with a cloud infrastructure that enables one to build any app, using any system and from any location, in a deterministic and secure manner. "Plus, our operating model revolves around observability and cloud-native capabilities, so that our clients can leverage hybrid cloud solutions seamlessly," said Manish.

Advice for budding entrepreneurs eyeing hybrid cloud 

Mahesh advised budding businesses to understand the nature of their business, the stage where they're at and where they're headed before they decide to shift their workloads to hybrid cloud. "If there's too much uncertainty on some front, don't invest too much in something," he advised.

Meanwhile, Neeraj said that before entrepreneurs decide if they should opt for public, private or hybrid cloud, they should focus on the outcome they want to achieve. "Once you have clarity about what you want to achieve, pick a use case and use the cloud for innovation. Also, be aware of regulatory pressure and use appropriate tools to protect yourself and your customers' trust. Lastly, track data portability to know how your data is being routed to," he added before signing off.


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