Enterprises are trying to get the best of both worlds from cloud storage by keeping critical data and applications on-premises while leveraging public clouds for improved scalability. In this environment, providers like Egnyte, a member of the Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance, have thrived by giving companies the flexibility to manage cloud assets across different types of infrastructure.

Writing for Forbes, contributor Gene Marks argued that the cloud is entering a new phase in which it has become the backbone of complex IT installations that connect many different devices and services. More specifically, with the rise of the Internet of Things, enterprises will need maximum flexibility in the form of scalable storage and ample computing power for networked appliances.

Companies like Egnyte have stepped up to the plate with software-defined services that enable efficient, secure access to publicly and privately stored data. Such tools will become increasingly important as storage needs continue to climb. A research report from the Aberdeen Group discovered that the amount of stored data is growing 35 percent per year as enterprises explore big data initiatives.

For some end users, the lessons of hybrid clouds have inspired them to take a blended approach to storing their data, in the hopes that doing so will give them both security and flexibility.

“Some data is meant to be on-premise because it may be higher performance or higher compliance,” Google Ventures partner Karim​ Faris told Forbes. “The idea is to bridge the two. I store all my family photos on Picasa.  But I also store them on a backup drive at home.”

Personal clouds are one way that individuals can improve data portability, since these devices interact well with mobile assets like smartphones and tablets and can also be easily networked into a computer at home. Similarly, many companies can make use of commodity hardware that pairs up with advanced management software to create interoperable cloud infrastructure.

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