Sixty-five percent of companies would switch to public or hybrid cloud-based solutions and ditch their data centers tomorrow if that were possible. This insight is according to a global study by Avanade that surveyed 1,000 C-level executives, comprised of business unit leaders and IT decision makers in 21 countries.
Although companies acknowledge the benefits of cloud and would like to make the switch, there is still confusion as to the benefits of hybrid cloud. Even IT decision makers are confused. With companies losing over $1.7 trillion dollars a year due to data loss, getting clear on IT strategy and how that integrates into cloud adoption is increasingly important. IT networks will go from having excess capacity to being overloaded by the stress of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices in just three years.
Companies need to get clear on the benefits of cloud and act before data loss and lack of network capacity wreak even more havoc.
Over half of the respondents were unable to correctly identify the basic attributes of hybrid cloud when presented with four factual statements. Over 60 percent didn’t know that hybrid solutions can contain more than one public cloud and that it includes distinct public and private clouds. This is consistent with a recent Microsoft report that said Canadian executives want the benefits of cloud but don’t really know what it is.
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology defines hybrid cloud as “two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).”
The study pointed out that traditionally IT budgets are controlled by the CIO. Now company executives outside of IT manage up to 37 percent of the technology budgets, which may explain some of the lack of knowledge about hybrid cloud. “… they aren’t concerned with controlling technology use or managing their own personal technologies,” said the report. “They are, however, focused on championing select new technologies, which they believe offer a competitive advantage and help their organization focus on issues that are core to growing the business and improving the customer experience.”
The report revealed hybrid cloud is an important part of their technology focus.
Of the C-level executives surveyed, 72 percent said they were likely to adopt hybrid cloud in the next three years. This rate of adoption is higher than that of IT leaders by 14 percent. About the same percentage thought that most of their critical business applications such as data analytics and customer facing services would be hosted on hybrid as opposed to public cloud.
Privacy and security continue to be a barrier to adoption. This seems to be a valid concern since a court just ruled that Target can be sued for its 2013 security breach. With many high profile network breaches this year at companies such as JP Morgan, Kmart, Dairy Queen and Home Depot, security when adopting hybrid could would certainly be a consideration.
Over half of the executives think security is a concern in adopting hybrid cloud although over 60 percent thought public clouds are more secure than three years ago.
Even without a clear picture of what hybrid cloud is and concerns over security, most plan to adopt within the next three years. The vast majority of respondents at 77 percent believe a hybrid solution gives them a competitive advantage and will allow them to focus on growth.
Implementing a hybrid cloud strategy should be one of their biggest areas of focus in 2015, according to 75 percent of those surveyed.