IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news

Node4 has released its ‘Future of Hybrid Cloud’ report. Based on independent research it finds that, despite a generally positive view of public cloud platforms, half of UK IT managers said that they have had to migrate a workload back off a public cloud platform.

UK IT managers identified improved security posture, a greener and more sustainable IT infrastructure, more efficient IT team operations, and less downtime as principal advantages of public cloud. However five issues could be behind the trend to remove workloads from public cloud platforms: 

  • 56 percent said their public cloud environment was more expensive to operate than initially forecast.
  • 22 percent identified service issues or capacity constraints.
  • 21 percent reported a lack of control around usage and access.
  • 21 percent cited performance issues. 
  • 17 percent experienced workload incompatibility.

The report's findings suggest that these factors are also contributing to the retention or increase in non-cloud IT infrastructure. Indeed, 41 percent of UK organizations using public cloud still have applications and workloads running on company-owned hardware - and 37 percent rely on a platform provided by a hosting company. 

Looking to the future, the country’s IT managers think they will still be running applications on company-owned hardware (44 percent) and using a platform provided by a hosting company (42 percent) in three years. Just 12 percent of respondents expect to host more than 75 percent of applications and workloads in a public cloud environment. This makes a more formalised long-term hybrid cloud usage strategy a likely scenario for most UK businesses. 

When asked why they’re considering a hybrid cloud strategy, nearly half (46 percent) of respondents said it was to retain existing infrastructure and assets. The same number (46 percent) said they would adopt hybrid cloud to support applications that don’t suit public cloud. Over a third said it would help them tackle latency, edge, and performance issues they’d experienced with public cloud. Respondents do, however, have a few concerns about hybrid cloud adoption, citing the need to support multiple platforms (39 percent) and the complexity of integrating multiple platforms (36 percent). 

Commenting on the report and its findings, Andrew Slater, Practice Director - Cloud at Node4, says: “Our research underscores that many UK organizations have encountered challenges in getting the final 20-30 percent of their production workloads into public cloud environments. This is probably not what they envisaged when they began their public cloud adoption journey. IT departments were working on a vision where all workloads sat neatly within a public cloud environment, delivering significant cost savings - and that all security, compliance, monitoring, updates, backup, and disaster recovery could be centrally managed. But as our research demonstrates, things don’t always work out exactly as anticipated for many organizations.” 

Andrew continues: “We have seen the emergence of a new hybrid cloud model where organizations bring the public cloud providers' software into their controlled IT environments. Tools such as Azure Stack HCI and Azure Arc meet the core challenges of operating a hybrid cloud model head-on, providing centralised management, compliance, and security alongside the ability to run PaaS services outside of the public cloud.  While respondents identified potential barriers to longer-term hybrid cloud adoption, we’re confident that these can be overcome with developing hybrid cloud technologies. This would deliver a cost-effective, long-term strategy for UK businesses to manage their IT infrastructure without worrying about migrating incompatible or inappropriate workloads to public cloud environments.”    

Report methodology

The Future of Hybrid Cloud is an independent piece of research carried out exclusively for Node4 by Censuswide between 25th May 2022 and 1st June 2022. It explores some drivers behind the current and planned use of hybrid cloud environments amongst UK businesses. The findings are based on the views of 302 IT decision-makers from various vertical markets with 1,000-10,000 employees and a broad spectrum of annual turnover.

Obtain a full copy of the Future of Hybrid Cloud Report (registration required).

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