IT leaders choose hybrid cloud as top transformation action

Dive Brief:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated cloud adoption, and a hybrid model is the “ideal operating model” for 86% percent of respondents, according to a Nutanix survey.

  • IT decision-makers reported deploying hybrid infrastructure as a higher priority for companies, even above improving business continuity and disaster recovery during the pandemic, according to the survey of 3,400 respondents conducted by U.K. researcher Vanson Bourne on behalf of Nutanix.

  • Hybrid cloud may streamline digital transformation for many businesses, but it can also block network visibility as clarity into who manages what becomes blurred, according to the report. 

Dive Insight:

Companies transition to a hybrid cloud model because it offers better delivery of business requirements, improved support for remote customers and employees and stronger data security, according to Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud Index.

Cost savings no longer drive the decision to move to a hybrid cloud model as only 27% of respondents cited it as a reason for switching IT operating models — perhaps because leadership already anticipates an uptick in cloud costs this year. 

Companies expect to grow cloud spend 47% on average, according to the Flexera 2020 State of Cloud Report released earlier this year. At the time of the report, 23% of the 750 respondents were already over their 2020 cloud budget. 

The move from focusing on cloud spend and toward actionable progress isn’t just limited to pandemic-era reprioritization. In January, Jarod Greene, VP of audience marketing at Apptio and general manager of the TBM Council, predicted spending reform would be a priority to support transformation. 

“The call to action isn’t just spend less on cloud; the call to action is to optimize that spend so that we can go fund new initiatives,” Greene said in an interview with CIO Dive at the time. 

Hybrid cloud can also create chaos between teams as it becomes unclear which teams carry which responsibilities. Some decision-makers have the view that simply transitioning IT systems to the cloud will solve all problems, but a skilled team with clear responsibilities is necessary to hybrid cloud success. 

“The cloud doesn’t simplify everything,” Brighten Godfrey, co-founder and CTO of Veriflow, told CIO Dive in a 2019 interview. “It makes some things easier, but there is maybe this idealized view of ‘we’ll just put it in the cloud and that makes it easy.'”