Even as more companies deploy cloud computing services, no single environment has emerged as the top solution for all IT functions. Experts have debated the merits and benefits of both public and private cloud environments, but neither has proven to be the undisputed solution for all IT needs.
Rather, many companies are turning to hybrid cloud computing solutions, which enable businesses to navigate between both the public and private clouds, selecting which environment works best for a specific need.
In a recent report for Computerworld, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst Galen Schreck asserted that enterprise architects ought to start planning for a hybrid cloud as the environment most likely to benefit organizations in the immediate future.
This may be a sound assertion, as a recent Hosting.com report found that 78 percent of surveyed companies indicated they would prefer to implement either a private cloud or a public/private hybrid.
Many businesses have found hybrid cloud environments allow them to take advantage of the data security of the private cloud, while also benefiting from the cost effectiveness of the public cloud. However, as the hybrid cloud matures, Schreck noted, its benefits are likely to extend beyond these areas.
"As hybrid cloud matures, capabilities will be built into a variety of product offerings, including virtualization platforms, system management suites and add-on management tools," Schreck wrote. "How each organization implements these capabilities will depend on several factors including your strategic vendors, existing IT investments and the suitability of each vendor's products and future road map."
Schreck's prediction echoes a recent study by Microsoft, which explored the cloud adoption trends among small- and medium-sized businesses. The study, which revealed that 39 percent of SMBs plan to use cloud services within the next three years, stated that SMBs will likely favor hybrid deployments