Many commercial companies have used hybrid cloud architecture as a swift and cost-effective way to get the most out of existing infrastructure, while simultaneously developing new, customer-focused capabilities. Traditional ERPs are not noted for their ability to offer real-time data access and incorporate multiple sensor feeds such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) and Global Positioning System (GPS).
In a low bandwidth, high latency battlefield environment, forces need reliable,
real-time analytics and simulation. A cloud-based approach can satisfy complex and disparate user demands on either mobile or fixed devices, providing access to a wider range of technologies. As an additional benefit, the outsourcing of cloud services can release key staff to focus on future needs, outcomes and transformation.
Sectors such as healthcare, telecommunications and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are increasingly adopting hybrid architectural models for their ERPs, accelerating the availability of and maximizing the investment in current ERPs, cutting implementation costs and retaining transactional functionality.
Hybrid models allow organizations to move workloads between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, providing greater flexibility, more data deployment options and tighter security. In order to support a hybrid deployment, ERP solutions must be able to simultaneously support multi-platform environments.
In a hybrid ERP environment, many functions will be delivered as cloud services, with some core ERP elements, such as financials and manufacturing, typically remaining on-premises. And, because they allow an optimal mix of the major ERP delivery models, hybrid deployment can deliver ERP capabilities very cost-effectively to users.
The main benefits of hybrid ERP are:
|Flexibility||Implement a new ERP module and accelerate design/configuration
|On-demand IT infrastructure resources
||Helps shorten ERP maintenance cycles|
|Real-time and batch processing
||Provides up-to-date information|
|Full end-to-end security
|Surge and activity reduction capability||Streamlines processes|
|Lower costs for organizing and using data
||Reduction in expenses|
||Quicker deployment of new operational scenarios|
|Liberate key staff
||Staff can focus on future vision, technology and requirements|
|Industry integration||A solid national defense foundation|
Source: KPMG International, 2016.
The adoption of hybrid cloud solutions has been slow, due to concerns over mobility, as well as data security and sovereignty issues resulting from outsourcing services and using public (as opposed to private) environments. However, significant research and development (R&D) is being driven by the US Department of Defense and government sector, following recent government security breaches. To address these concerns, technology providers are developing private premises engineered systems, total end-to end data encryption, chip level security, key vaults and client-managed private cloud facility capabilities. As cloud security improves, hybrid defense ERP deployments are gaining real momentum.
Although hybrid solutions are not a panacea, they do offer a pathway for workload reduction and realignment of architecture), and, therefore, provide an ideal ‘middle ground.’ When properly implemented, they can improve performance, security and cost. Cloud outsourcing can bring flexible and real time data analysis and business intelligence, while also managing security risk, by maintaining sensitive core data locally, and releasing defense personnel to focus on more strategic issues.