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Most IT organizations want to embrace hybrid cloud computing, but most are far away from achieving that goal. In fact, a survey of 2,650 IT professionals conducted by the research firm Vanson Bourne, on behalf of Nutanix, suggests a large percentage of IT organizations are now able to unify the management of multiple clouds without outside help.

Nearly a third of respondents (32 percent) concede they lack the in-house skills need to manage hybrid cloud. More than half (53 percent) said access to skills would have a significant impact on their hybrid cloud computing strategy.

Overall, 85 percent of respondents identified hybrid cloud computing as the ideal IT model for their organization. Surprisingly, nearly three quarters of respondents (73 percent) said they are moving some number of applications back to on-premises environments from public clouds.

In fact, instead of decreasing dependency on local data centers, the report finds usage of traditional, non-cloud-enabled datacenters increased slightly in the last year. That increased usage of data centers is being driven by desktop and application virtualization; customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications; data analytics and business intelligence (BI) software; databases; application development and testing; and data backup and recovery.

Flexibility appeals to IT organizations

In general, IT organizations appear to be deeply concerned about being locked into any one platform. A full 61 percent said application mobility between clouds is nothing less than essential, mainly because they want to match applications to the right cloud platform.

Overall, survey respondents cited edge computing (50 percent), IoT (48 percent), DevOps (48 percent), AI and machine (47 percent), and containers (41 percent) as having the biggest impact on their organizations.

Survey respondents said they expect usage of hybrid and multi-cloud computing platforms to have increased about 8 percent during the past year. Survey respondents are also predicting on average investments in hybrid clouds will increase 39 percent over the next five years. Most of that investment will result in increased usage of public clouds and a decrease reliance in on-premises IT environments.

However, those on-premises IT environments are not going to go away completely any time soon. Data security and compliance represented the top variable in determining where an enterprise will decide to run a workload (26 percent), followed by cost at a distant second (14 percent). Nearly two thirds of respondents (64 percent) report staying on or under budget with their public cloud services, while more than a third (35 percent) reported being slightly or significantly over budget.

The survey also finds the decision as to when to embrace hybrid clouds will be driven by the state of intercloud security (60 percent), which may represent a massive opportunity for managed service providers. Cloud service providers don’t have a lot of interest in helping IT organizations integrate with other cloud computing environments. MSPs are likely to be the most called upon to fill that gap. The challenge and opportunity MSPs now face is making sure they have those skills in place before the IT organizations that are about to desperately need them come calling.

Photo: iDEAR Replay / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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