Cloud computing has become well known as a part of IT strategies worldwide. The benefits of turning to a hosted environment cannot be ignored.
‘Go cloud or go home’ is something a lot of businesses tend to follow. However, they often forget to think strategically about the business’ needs and wishes. While it is vital for businesses to embrace technology and to strive to modernize operations, this view of cloud computing is simply not very realistic for a lot of organizations.
Normally, cloud offerings are simpler in structure and less feature-rich. At the same time, they are easier to use and offer scalable and flexible environments that can be tailored for a business’ specific needs.
This seems to appeal to business buyers, as cloud offerings provide the necessary functionality without the obligation of investing in add-ons and extra features businesses do not really need. This way, users get the tool they need – and can use – when they need it.
Cloud offerings: the perfect solution for organizations?
Even though, the cloud offers numerous benefits, it’s not a perfect solution for most organizations. Today’s dynamic environment often requires a combination of on-premise platforms and cloud-based solutions to meet the complex needs of the enterprise.
The best answer is often a hybrid environment that enables organizations to build business apps on the fly, across the enterprise, while reserving on premise solutions for areas of the business, like security, that may not be a fit for the benefits of a virtual infrastructure.
The development of applications
Deploying apps in the cloud is helping make solutions by end users and for end users easier than ever. However, when legacy systems or governance and regulatory requirements restrict business data to live in the cloud, end users can find themselves lost.
We live in a world where users can build and bring their own apps in the cloud, and, as a key driver to make that a success is the ability to securely reach back to the business IP that’s locked up in on-premise and legacy systems.
5 things to consider when building business apps in a hybrid environment
Here are five things to consider when building business apps for a hybrid environment:
Less can be more
In general, enterprise apps should be kept simple and easy to use. This is especially true when information needs to go to and from environments. You could consider a no-download, no-install, no-code required environment that is directly connected to line of business data. Eliminating the need to lobby the IT department will spell a win for everyone involved, which include IT, end users and ultimately the business.
Apps have become a primary way people access information across devices, both inside and outside of the office. The facts speak for themselves: there are more than 1,2 million apps available from Apple and more than 1,3 million apps from Google.
The Bring Your Own App trends are changing the way organizations do business as employees take matters into their own hands. It is vital that businesses understand that this shift is inevitable and provide guidance for the employees and management to responsibly embrace the trend, especially when a hybrid environment is at play.
With all of these business apps at the users’ fingertips, leverage best practices from industry, users and trends to offer a new approach or resource that stands out and solves specific business challenges. Apps are disposable, but the real asset to be protected is the information behind them.
To make the most of time and resources, provide secure and fluid access to a line of business systems and data with easy ways to create disposable apps comprised of forms, process modelling and reports. Improve the functionality from previous iterations when possible and keep learning from and improving upon those designs.
Leverage technical experts
Some employees will embrace the cloud more than others, especially those who understand agility and wish to control technology. Leverage this to create a new and willing market, which enables users to quickly surface the features they need in a matter of hours or days with the help of IT.
Try to convince sceptical employees of the value, invest in an experienced strategist who help guide other employees toward success, and minimize failed attempts.
Sometimes on-premise is the answer
For a lot of companies, a hybrid solution is the perfect idea, but not for all businesses. Every organization leverages highly valuable, and usually on premises solutions, such as BPM, CRM and ERP. The cloud trend does not necessarily mean you should let go of these systems or that the move has to be made at once.
Instead, it is important to take responsible, progressive steps to seamlessly and securely take on-premise systems work in the cloud and on mobile, and consider ways to integrate this system via hybrid options. For software vendors with interests in the existing way of doing business, it can be a painful transition to the cloud. Be prepared to have those conversations about what apps need to be in the cloud and when an on-premise solution makes sense.
It is important to look outside of corporate confines for technology solutions that allow employees the flexibility to get their jobs done quickly and efficiently. However, many of these solutions still require access to internal systems and data, making plans for these hybrid IT scenarios quite critical. The outcome will provide a level of governance that keeps critical business data and systems secure, while empowering users across the organization with ways to solve their problems faster and deliver better results.
K2 and hybrid environments
K2 is a software provider that is focused on hybrid environments where on-premise systems work perfectly in the cloud. Thanks to K2’s smart objects, you can easily communicate in both cloud and on-premise environments. Smart objects form a layer between the actual data (e.g. a CRM or SQL server) and what the user actually sees. A smart object is used by K2 to retrieve data and to show these data to the user (for example via a smart form).