DENVER, CO. — While cloud computing has seen tremendous growth in urban areas in the past few years, rural communities have seen less progress. This is about to change with the advent of the hybrid cloud model and the developing edge computing market, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

Prior to the hybrid cloud model, organizations owned and operated their own servers and data centers, or they didn’t use data centers at all. Now, organizations are able to more cost-effectively scale their IT resources by using a combination of on-premise, private and third-party public cloud services. This hybrid computing model will be important as 5G networks are deployed, driverless cars enter rural roadways and the agricultural industry evolves to need computing power closer to where the source of the data is derived. 

“Hybrid cloud adoption is expected to grow in rural America and it will deliver both economic and social benefits,” said Jeff Johnston, lead economist with CoBank’s KED. “However, the lack of broadband access and qualified IT talent are impediments to rural America realizing the full benefits the hybrid cloud offers.

A video synopsis and the full report, “Digital Clouds are Brewing over Rural America,” are available at