There is a consensus among businesses about the importance of digital business initiatives, and a consensus that hybrid cloud models are the best way to implement them seems to be developing, based on research released Wednesday by EMC. Nine out of ten enterprises consider digital business to be a top priority over the next three years and almost as many either currently use or plan to use a hybrid cloud environment.
IDG Research surveyed IT and business executives about the importance of digital transformation, its goals, and how to achieve them, and found that hybrid cloud computing, including two or more of a data center, a public cloud, a private cloud and a managed private cloud, is the future of enterprise IT. While 83 percent use or will use hybrid cloud environments, 88 percent believe hybrid capabilities are important or critical to enabling digital business transformation.
“Becoming digital is a priority for nearly every business on the planet,” said Jeremy Burton, President, Products and Marketing, EMC Corporation. “But how to get there is not as obvious. This study makes it perfectly clear that hybrid cloud – and the savings and agility it brings with it – is a key enabler to becoming a digital business.”
The lag between recognition of the importance digital transformation, recognition of hybrid cloud as a cost-effective and agile means of achieving it, and its adoption suggests continued growth as the high priority change is implemented.
Enterprises are seeking the transformation to improve customer experience (87 percent), acquire new customers (86 percent), increase innovation, and enable real-time business decisions (each 82 percent, respectively). Sixty-three percent said they are well on their way to achieving their digital transformation goals, but barriers they face include budget and resources (38 percent) and lack of the right technology (29 percent), both of which hybrid cloud approaches can mitigate with careful tailoring, and also fragmented environments (30 percent), which hybrid configurations could potentially make worse.
Those who run significant workloads in hybrid environments find IT cost savings, which allows funds to be redirected to improve business outcomes, and are more likely to be ahead of their competitors in digital-ready infrastructure and digital business transformation. The average reduction in IT cost from hybrid cloud is 24 percent, according to the study.
“The only way for us to do digital delivery is ultimately through a combination of private and public cloud,” said one study respondent. “If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t survive.”
The sense in which enterprises can perform digitally transform without using hybrid cloud environments is uncertain, Infinitely Virtual CEO Adam Stern wrote in August. New web and application hosting technologies, and third generation hybrid cloud, however, enables the configuration and customization to deliver advantages to the enterprise as never before, writes Codero Hosting CEO Emil Sayegh.
VMware pulled out of a joint cloud venture with EMC with a December announcement, but EMC’s push to expand its services businesses, headlined by its May acquisition of Virtustream for $1.2 billion, rolls on.