The rate at which organizations have been moving workloads to the cloud has clearly accelerated in the last year, primarily because the COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging to deploy applications in an on-premises IT environment. However, it’s not like on-premises applications are disappearing entirely. The bulk of data still resides in systems that run within a local data center, creating setups of hybrid clouds.

As workloads become more evenly distributed between on-premises IT environments and the cloud, it’s becoming apparent the future of IT will be dominated by hybrid approaches to cloud computing.

A global survey of 950 IT decision makers conducted by 451 Research on behalf of NTT, a provider of IT services, finds 61 percent of respondents are already using or piloting hybrid clouds, with 33 percent planning to implement a hybrid solution within 12-24 months. Not surprisingly, 46 percent of respondents noted difficulties involving managing data security is the greatest barrier to hybrid cloud computing.

In fact, nearly a third of respondent (32 percent) said in the last 12 months alone they have migrated applications or data from public cloud to private or non-cloud environments because of security issues stemming from internal misconfigurations or external threats.

Well over half of those respondents (53 percent) also said they would need to engage with experts, such as managed cloud providers, to achieve their IT goals. Many of those same organizations are already engaged with systems integrators (72 percent) as well as information security consultants or managed security service providers (58 percent), the survey also finds.

Rise of hybrid clouds bodes well for MSPs

Organizations are moving beyond simply deploying isolated applications on multiple clouds. The next goal is to enable applications to more easily access data regardless of where it is created or stored. A third of respondents (33 percent) are looking to improve the speed of deployment of applications and services as part of an effort to drive operational efficiencies.

In an ideal world, organizations are building data lakes that not only make data available to multiple applications consistently; they also make it possible to move data based on security and compliance requirements whenever necessary.

The NTT survey, for example, finds 62 percent of respondents view security and compliance as critical, and the first consideration when selecting a vendor or service provider for hybrid cloud planning. Another 35 percent said security and compliance requirements heavily influence their decision-making processes.

Rise of hybrid cloud computing has been a long time coming

It’s been relatively simple for IT organizations to manage multiple clouds alongside existing on-premises IT environments in isolation from one another. However, in the wake of the economic downturn driven by the global health crisis, the pressure to reduce the total cost of IT has significantly increased.

This bodes well for MSPs that have hybrid cloud computing expertise. After all, anybody with all the time and resources required, can spin up almost anything these. Achieving that capability within the confines for a highly-constrained IT budget, on the other hand, requires real skill.

Photo: Pressmaster / Shutterstock

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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