Enterprises plan to aggressively shift investment to hybrid cloud architectures, with respondents reporting steady and substantial hybrid deployment plans over the next five years, according to a Nutanix survey.
Hybrid cloud as the ideal IT operating model
The vast majority of 2019 survey respondents (85%) selected hybrid cloud as their ideal IT operating model.
Vanson Bourne surveyed 2,650 IT decision-makers in 24 countries around the world about where they’re running their business applications today, where they plan to run them in the future, what their cloud challenges are, and how their cloud initiatives stack up against other IT projects and priorities.
The 2019 respondent base spanned multiple industries, business sizes, and the following geographies: the Americas, EMEA, and the APJ region.
This year’s report illustrated that creating and executing a cloud strategy has become a multidimensional challenge. At one time, a primary value proposition associated with the public cloud was substantial upfront capex savings.
Now, enterprises have discovered that there are other considerations when selecting the best cloud for the business as well, and that one size cloud strategy doesn’t fit all use cases.
For example, while applications with unpredictable usage may be best suited to the public clouds offering elastic IT resources, workloads with more predictable characteristics can often run on-premises at a lower cost than public cloud.
Savings are also dependent on businesses’ ability to match each application to the appropriate cloud service and pricing tier, and to remain diligent about regularly reviewing service plans and fees, which change frequently.
In this ever-changing environment, flexibility is essential, and a hybrid cloud provides this choice.
Other key findings
Apps are migrating away from the public cloud back to on-premises infrastructures. 73% of respondents reported that they are moving some applications off the public cloud and back on prem, and 22% of those users are moving five or more applications.
These moves underscore, in part, enterprises’ need for hybrid cloud’s flexibility in allowing them to adapt their infrastructures based on their fluctuating requirements. App mobility is critical, and 95% of respondents reported that it is essential or desirable to be able to easily move applications between cloud environments.
Security remains the biggest factor impacting enterprises’ future cloud strategies. Well over half of 2019 respondents (60%) said that the state of security among clouds would have the biggest influence on their cloud deployment plans going forward.
Similarly, data security and compliance represented the top variable (26%) in determining where an enterprise runs a given workload.
IT professionals deem the hybrid cloud the most secure of all the IT operating models. More than a quarter of respondents (28%) picked the hybrid model as the most secure — substantially surpassing those who chose a fully private cloud/on-prem model (21%) and more than twice as many as those who chose traditional (non-cloud-enabled) private data centers (13%).
One reason for this is perhaps because enterprises can select the right cloud for their security requirements.
Nearly a quarter (23.5%) of respondents currently aren’t leveraging any cloud technology today. Many companies still fall behind when it comes to enterprise cloud adoption.
However, respondents’ reported plans indicate that in one year’s time, the number of enterprises with no cloud deployments will plummet to 6.5% and in two years’ time will drop by more than half to 3%. Regionally, the Americas reported a slightly lower incidence of non-cloud use (21%) compared to EMEA (25%) and APJ (24%).
Enterprises are striving to integrate cloud computing with their digital transformation goals. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of 2019 respondents said digital transformation was driving their cloud implementations, and 64% said that digital transformation was the top business priority in their organizations.
Reaping the benefits of the hybrid cloud
“As organizations continue to grapple with complex digital transformation initiatives, flexibility and security are critical components to enable seamless and reliable cloud adoption,” said Wendy M. Pfeiffer, CIO of Nutanix.
“The enterprise has progressed in its understanding and adoption of hybrid cloud, but there is still work to do when it comes to reaping all of its benefits. In the next few years, we’ll see businesses rethinking how to best utilize hybrid cloud, including hiring for hybrid computing skills and reskilling IT teams to keep up with emerging technologies.”
“Cloud computing has become an integral part of business strategy, but it has introduced several challenges along with it,” said Ashish Nadkarni, group vice president of infrastructure systems, platforms and technologies at IDC.
“These include security and application performance concerns and high cost. As the 2019 Enterprise Cloud Index report demonstrates, hybrid cloud will continue to be the best option for enterprises, enabling them to securely meet modernization and agility requirements for workloads.”