I admit, when I first heard of hybrid clouds I was suspicious of the whole concept. The goal is to move everything you could to the cloud --  liberating IT from routine infrastructure worries and freeing the department to solve business problems for the business, not technical details. The organization benefits greatly when IT is left to focus on governance, process automation and productivity enhancements.

I asked myself, “Why would anyone go with a hybrid model?”

Why add another CMS to the portfolio if you cannot retire an old system or provide a large amount of obvious business value? How does having IT manage systems in the cloud in addition to their existing duties allow them to help the business more?

On the way to paradise, reality reared its ugly head. Most organizations are not ready to move everything to the cloud. Cloud applications may provide the functionality used by 80 percent of people, but that last 20 percent is mission critical to many power users. There is also the ever present question when discussing the retirement of a legacy CMS: migrations. Meanwhile, the desire from business to move at least some features to the cloud is becoming deafening.

The reality, as Microsoft is discovering, is that organizations are not ready to bet everything on the cloud. They want the features that having content in the cloud provides while maintaining the comfort and control of having their content on-premises. The concept of Hybrid clouds is gaining traction among IT professionals who want the benefits of the cloud without giving up the desire to have information controlled locally. Hybrid systems can provide the best of both worlds, but when properly executed, the hybrid approach allows organizations to gradually move to the cloud at their own pace without the current all or nothing approach.

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

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Hybrid cloud systems, or simply the hybrid cloud, are systems that allow for Content and Processes to exist on-premises, in the cloud or both. Content may or may not reside in the cloud, depending on the architecture and the preferences of the organization. The key characteristic is the synchronization of desired content and processes between the two systems with full control remaining with the on-premises system.

Most organizations have content that they either need or do not care if it is in the cloud. Typically amounting to about 20 percent of their content, this involves content that is being shared with external parties or with remote workers who need a quick way to access content without a VPN.