Is Your Finance Department Ready for a Hybrid Cloud Environment?

For better or for worse, the past year has caused many of us to not only shift how we do business, but the way in which we store the data needed to conduct our business as well. Many companies have needed to transition their formerly all-on-premise setups into some combination of on-premise and cloud deployment  otherwise known as a hybrid cloud environment. The wheel has by no means reinvented itself, but rather, it has been reimagined.

As we strive towards herd immunity through COVID-19 vaccinations and the return to a life even remotely reminiscent of the way things were pre-pandemic, the question remains: how will businesses once again adapt to an ever-changing work environment?

The simple answer to such a complicated question begins with the adoption of a hybrid cloud environment. Businesses used to find comfort in knowing they had an on-premise network and a dedicated, private server to store all of their data, in addition to trusted workers who handled their sensitive data with the utmost diligence. With the transition to remote work, most on-premise organizations have needed to shift, at the minimum, some portion of their business to the cloud, thereby decentralizing their systems. In recent months, you would be hard-pressed to find a business that continues to keep its data solely on remote office servers. Gone are the days of centralized networks, and with them, the comfort of operating completely on-premise.

However, when moving away from on-prem infrastructure, businesses retain the privilege of choosing whether they want their data to be public or private, and that’s where the cloud comes in. The beauty behind the hybrid environment approach is that it allows companies to be “all-in on cloud without being 100 percent cloud,” as they can tailor their hybrid solution and strike a desired balance for on-prem and cloud deployment based on their individual needs. Additionally, they can choose whether they want to store data on a private cloud or public cloud setup. A shift towards greater amounts of cloud over on-prem allows for greater scalability at the expense of less system control, and vice versa should you tip the scales towards on-prem over cloud instead.

It’s a fine balance to say the least, and one only the leaders of any given business must identify on their own, but the flexibility provided by a hybrid cloud environment all but guarantees that each organization will be able to identify what their own unique mix is. Among 750 global cloud decision-makers, 80% of enterprises have already found their perfect mix of a hybrid cloud strategy.

Factors To Consider When Finding the Right Mix

Due to the pandemic, the discussion no longer revolves around whether to deploy a hybrid cloud environment or not. Deloitte, among many other industry leaders, acknowledge that it has instead become focused on “how to leverage the right mix of technology to access and maximize the capabilities of cloud  while protecting critical data and running workloads where they drive better business outcomes, faster value delivery, and sustainable ROI.”

While public cloud solutions have been associated with data breaches in the past and cannot be ignored, the hybrid approach has found workarounds to this, along with many other vulnerabilities in an all-cloud deployment. To mitigate security risk and data breaches associated with the public cloud, 67% of enterprises in a study conducted by Dell reported moving to a hybrid model while keeping their highly sensitive data on a private cloud.

On the flip side, other companies may find themselves shouldering increased expenses while maintaining on-premise or all-private-cloud solutions, especially as the burden of completely remote work drags on with the pandemic. Sure, on-prem is robust and secure in ways cloud may never truly be, but maintaining it makes it extremely difficult to expand or scale, especially during such a rapidly changing time.

Compounded by the significant upfront costs for infrastructure setup, hardware investments, licensing, maintenance, and labour costs, on-prem simply doesn’t make as much clear-cut sense as it used to. In a world where cost effectiveness is one of the most significant variables for a business, 46% of private cloud users have since shifted to the hybrid model to lessen these high operational costs. This number will only further increase as daily commutes to the office become a thing of the past and remote work becomes a reality that is here to stay.

Working Remotely with Cloud Computing

When thinking of what a hybrid cloud environment consists of, it’s quite common to mistake this terminology for a hybrid work environment, where employees split time between working in-office and remotely. This natural correlation is no coincidence, as maintaining a hybrid cloud environment is a key factor in enabling a successful hybrid workplace. The ability to allow employees to work remotely is one of the many benefits associated with deploying a hybrid cloud environment, along with cost savings, increased flexibility and agility, reduced capital expenditures, and automated data backup processes.

So far, companies around the world have been forced to strike a balance between persevering through their day-to-day business operations and keeping all stakeholders within their business safe. Shifting to a reduction of in-office capacity, as well as encouraging employees to work remotely, has led to a significant uptake in hybrid cloud adoption, where 42% of companies have opted for cloud services for the purpose of accessing data remotely, while another 37% cite cloud services to enable better flexibility.

How Does This All Relate to Financial Services?

When it comes to maintaining a business’ infrastructure via in-office versus on the cloud, those that choose to integrate the two, embracing the complete hybrid environment, will come to see a reduction in costs, enhanced scalability, and be in a better position to support the growing demand for a shared remote and in-person workforce. For your finance department, a hybrid approach unlocks more secure and accessible means for data sharing capabilities, especially as embedded banking turns a new tide across the financial services industry. These benefits will not only be observed within the bank, but for corporate and commercial customers, FinTechs, and everyone else in between.

The question of “if” is no more, as it is now a matter of “when” the shift to hybrid will take place universally. SMBs, mid-markets, and enterprises have all shown their readiness to go hybrid, allowing them to continually adapt to whatever change comes next. Who knows what our working circumstances will look like once immunizations have rolled out and we’re able to return to some sense of normalcy, but when the time comes, FISPAN will be ready; will you?

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To learn more about how your business can be ready for Embedded Banking, and how you can streamline your workflow for a friction-free banking experience at the same time, schedule a demo with us.

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