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Microsoft's Hybrid Vision of the Cloud Offers Realistic Path to Adoption

July 10, 2015

It’s not a secret that Microsoft has been steadily moving toward a cloud services model and away from the traditional enterprise software model that made the company what it is today. Redmond has increasingly been putting more development efforts into IaaS and SaaS and beefing up its Azure cloud and related offerings.

Skype for Business and Office 365 are playing a major role in that shift, providing all the functionality of Windows Office applications through a service-based model. But beyond that, Skype adds real-time communications functionality, opening the door to everything from collaboration to a fully functional IP-based phone solution.

Microsoft has not completely abandoned its premise-based software model, however, and the company envisions a hybrid cloud blend of hosted and on premises services being embraced by most of its enterprise customers moving forward. As stated in Microsoft’s vision for the cloud, “While we believe, over time, many services will move to the cloud, today, most businesses live with the reality that they need both on-premises and cloud services. That approach to cloud computing is called hybrid cloud computing. True hybrid cloud ensures your past IT investments are leveraged, not lost. Others may talk about it, but Microsoft delivers hybrid cloud computing.”

It would seem hybrid cloud computing is a good bet for Redmond, with MarketsandMarkets forecasting the market will reach $84.67 billion by 2019. It is slated to grow at a 27.3 percent CAGR, up from $25.28 billion last year. The research firm found that enterprises are willing to adopt a hybrid blend of cloud and on-premises solutions due to efficiencies with management, integration and security. When you add in a household name like Microsoft to the mix, enterprise offerings like Office 365 and Skype for Business become compelling.

It remains to be seen how widely embraced Skype for Business will become, as companies overcome their concerns with the security and performance of IP-based communications solutions. But as mobility and collaboration drive the telecom and communications sector, blended offerings like Skype for Business are set to the become the norm, providing cost savings and a host of features well beyond traditional circuit-switched solutions.

It does not appear that cloud-based services are set to completely replace on-premises solutions any time soon, but rather Microsoft’s vision of a blended, hybrid cloud utilizing existing hardware and software with managed services, is a pretty good indicator of things to come.


Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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