March 16, 2020 By Jamie Thomas 3 min read

When hybrid cloud first emerged, it offered a new way for enterprises and organizations to use cloud technology in optimizing workloads and improving customer experience. Now it has matured into a complex ecosystem covering on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud components.

IBM and Forrester recently teamed up to investigate the ways organizations develop their hybrid multicloud implementations and strategies. The research was published and unveiled some interesting findings. With the expectation that 50% of critical workloads will run on premises or in an internal private cloud in the next two years, this survey identified how engaging in a hybrid strategy can be important for overall business health. However, the study also found that knowing where to invest with existing infrastructure and understanding how to strategically modernize is important for responding IT decision makers to navigate the many choices available to them.

If it’s difficult to understand the kind of technical problem these decision makers face, you can think of a similar problem: any time you step out the door on your way to work and hit the rush hour slowdown. Imagine if residents tried to solve the traffic problem by buying faster cars, but instead of widening lanes on the highway to support faster-moving vehicles, the city installed a new bus lane. Would traffic improve at all? Probably not, because transit infrastructure is a combination of systems that solve different pieces of the overall problem in helping people get to where they need to go. A new bus lane solves a part of the traffic problem by dedicating resources for bus use, but it doesn’t make the road itself better suited for faster cars. Hybrid multicloud strategies apply a similar concept to IT infrastructure by leveraging a mixture of new and existing technologies to cover multiple business use cases and workload needs.

There are several components to consider for a successful hybrid multicloud strategy and achieving performance, security, and resilience. Enterprise leaders and IT decision makers might have to optimize their investment in existing infrastructure with the costs of infrastructure modernization. Forrester found that 90% of IT decision makers surveyed agree that on-premises infrastructure is part of their organization’s hybrid cloud strategies. The study reports that when IT organizations prioritize other IT initiatives over infrastructure refreshes, they leave themselves exposed to security risks.

Much like our traffic example, when enterprises invest in modernizing just a piece of their system and choose to delay refreshes on infrastructure like their on-premises systems, it can potentially increase security and compliance risks. IT decision makers surveyed reported that there has been reluctance to invest in existing infrastructure, despite the risk of losing the ability to conduct business due to an outage. A robust public cloud investment might provide an excellent mobile experience for customers, but with a constrained back-end system full of security vulnerabilities, enterprises might not advance their security strategy.

The Forrester study highlights a number of other important points, but the top of mind concerns we hear from clients surveyed center on security and their data privacy compliance requirements in addition to problems with performance.

  • 40% of respondents find that public cloud does not meet their security needs
  • 43% of respondents cite the inability to meet increasing customer and employee performance due to delaying infrastructure refresh
  • 39% of respondents feel loss of competitive edge as an IT organization due to delaying infrastructure refresh
  • 75% of IT decision makers surveyed have received pushback for advocating strategies other than cloud environments

This study shares how IT decision makers assess the strengths and differences between public and private cloud implementations, so that enterprises can optimize the benefits that come from their public cloud, private cloud and on-premises resources. IBM Systems has the ability to support on-premises and hybrid multicloud infrastructure modernization. We know data strategy is key because it helps companies address both their compliance and security objectives and is a factor for deciding where to place workloads. We learned this from our experiences supporting clients as they make a hybrid multicloud strategy that addresses the modernization of components.

Read the Forrester study on hybrid multicloud strategies to learn more about key pieces all enterprises should consider when continuing their journey to cloud. Get the study.

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