Colocation is the Strategic Hybrid Cloud Option

European companies are racing to the cloud so they can create new products faster, improve customer engagement and scale to new global markets. But, switching to a fully cloud environment can feel daunting and complex. 

Hybrid IT – which mixes on-premises and cloud-based IT – offers a middle ground. It combines the security and performance of on-premises facilities with the public cloud’s agility and cost-savings.

To gain an edge on competitors moving to a hybrid model, many enterprises choose to work with third-party data centre providers, who offer certain benefits over other hybrid deployment options. Here’s what you need to know about colocation.

The Path to Hybrid

The cloud is making every CIO rethink their approach to IT infrastructure, as industry heavyweights like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services‎ and IBM SoftLayer compete to offer lower costs and superior agility.

However, many feel they can’t rely entirely on the public cloud. Securing sensitive data is one concern, but regulations might also require businesses to keep some data in-house. Similarly, CIOs want to be sure they can offer high-quality application performance to their customers. As a result, more than half of the enterprise IT professionals we surveyed in a recent report said they currently or plan to adopt a hybrid cloud solution.  

Meanwhile, cloud providers are also making significant investments to break down barriers to entry. Private connection services, such as Microsoft ExpressRoute and AWS Direct Connect, bypass the public internet, enabling organisations to create hybrid IT environments that meet rigorous security and performance requirements.

Colocation is the Strategic Choice

The question for most CIOs now is how to effectively connect their existing infrastructure to these private cloud access services. IDG has found that 90 percent of European companies cite the links between on-premises and cloud-based workloads as the biggest barrier to hybrid cloud adoption.

This is where colocation centres come in. These facilities allow you to place private IT infrastructure next to the access points to the public cloud platforms, thus optimising network performance and agility. This type of IT infrastructure architecture, where organisations leverage the benefits of an outsourced colocation solution along with private connection points to a hyperscale cloud platform, is called a ‘colocated hybrid cloud’ model.

Top European businesses lean on colocation as their deployment model of choice. Our survey revealed why: 36 percent of respondents said they use colocation to move IT closer to customers.

Doing so provides a strategic advantage. When your data centre is closer to the customer, not only can you offer better quality performance, but you also gain the agility to quickly scale up IT resources in response to local customer or operational needs.

In other words, keeping key IT resources in the right third-party data centres allows you to deliver products and improve customer engagement in more parts of the world.