SolarWinds has released the findings of its IT Trends Report 2016: The Hybrid IT Evolution. The study features insights from IT practitioners, managers and directors proving that the vast majority of businesses have shifted away from on-premises-only infrastructure to hybrid IT environments, creating new concerns and pressures for IT professionals.
“The findings of this year’s study paint a clear picture: cloud adoption is nearly ubiquitous, but it’s not now and will not in the foreseeable future be suitable for all workloads, and even if it were, very few if any companies would convert all of their existing applications to run in the cloud,” said Joel Dolisy, CIO, SolarWinds. “The resulting dynamic — one set of critical on-premises services connected with another set of services in the cloud — is hybrid IT. And at the center of this evolution is the IT professional who needs to ensure always-on performance of applications, devices, networks and systems — regardless of location. They need to be empowered with the support to gain the skills and tools required to properly monitor and manage hybrid IT environments, which in turn will allow businesses to truly unlock the potential of the cloud.”
IT infrastructures have evolved from traditional on-premises-only to a hybrid strategy that links internal and external IT services driven by the existence of the cloud.
- Nearly all (92%) of the IT professionals surveyed say adopting cloud technologies is important to their organizations’ long-term business success; more than a quarter (27%) say it is extremely important.
- Only 43% estimate that half or more of their organizations’ total IT infrastructure will be in the cloud within the next 3-5 years.
- Sixty percent say it is unlikely that all of their organizations’ infrastructure will ever be migrated to the cloud.
- Overall, only 9% say their organizations have not migrated any infrastructure to the cloud.
- The number of small businesses that have not migrated anything to the cloud went from 18% in 2015 to just 6% in 2016.
IT professionals are faced with a dual mandate: increase efficiency through cloud services while also ensuring critical systems, databases and applications are secure.
- The top three hybrid IT benefits by weighted rank are infrastructure cost-reduction, increased infrastructure flexibility/agility and relieving internal IT personnel of day-to-day management of some infrastructure, respectively.
- Sixty-two percent say that security is the biggest challenge associated with managing current hybrid IT environments.
- The top three barriers to greater cloud adoption by weighted rank are security/compliance concerns, the need to support legacy systems and budget limitations, respectively.
- Sixty-nine percent say they have already migrated applications to the cloud, followed by storage (49%) and databases (33%).
- The top three areas of infrastructure with the highest priority for continued or future migration by weighted rank are applications, databases and storage, respectively.
IT professionals require new skills, tools and resources to successfully drive the hybrid IT migration forward and enable their organizations to better meet business objectives.
- Only 27% are certain their IT organizations currently have adequate resources to manage a hybrid IT environment.
- The top five skills needed to better manage hybrid IT environments are hybrid IT monitoring/management tools and metrics (48%), application migration (41%), distributed architectures (32%), service-oriented architectures (31%) and automation/vendor management (tied at 30%).
- Fifty-six percent indicated they have the level of support needed from leadership and the organization as a whole to develop/improve the skills they feel they need in order to better manage hybrid IT environments.
“IT is pervasive across work, life and geography,” Dolisy added. “IT runs the world and without it, our technological existence would come to a screeching halt. Bring-your-own-device and now the Internet of Things have added and continue to add hundreds of thousands of new devices to corporate systems, and as illustrated in this year’s report, IT is also evolving from traditional on-premises-only infrastructure to the hybrid strategy driven by the existence of the cloud. In short, IT is everywhere. Effectively managing and monitoring the new environment —from on-premises to the cloud with multiplying endpoints — to be able to act when needed is more critical now than ever.”
The annual SolarWinds IT Trends Report consists of survey-based research that explores significant trends, developments and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals. The findings of this year’s report are based on a survey fielded in December 2015, which yielded responses from 257 IT practitioners, managers and directors in the U.S. and Canada from public and private sector small, mid-size and enterprise companies.
The findings of this year’s report are featured on the new SolarWinds IT Trends Index, an interactive Web experience that presents the study’s findings region by region, including charts, graphs and additional insights into the data.