Unplanned hybrid cloud implementations challenge business transformation

Study shows enterprises look to service providers for strategy and skills

By | 3 minute read | November 9, 2020

Use of hybrid cloud has dramatically expanded across the enterprise in recent years. That probably comes as no surprise; but what may be surprising is how much of that expansion has been unplanned. Rather than growth derived from a deliberate business-transformation strategy, much of the increase in hybrid cloud has instead been organic, often resulting from independent, decentralized actions from within organizations, even outside IT departments. This is the familiar story of many enterprises that find themselves with a decentralized hybrid mix of public and private clouds.

Consequences of unmanaged growth

For many companies, this unplanned growth of public and private cloud has led to a patchwork of inadequate infrastructure and inefficient cloud management. The consequences of these shortfalls can be detrimental to an IT department, siphoning energy and resources away from more business-critical functions. This is especially significant now as IT departments find themselves under more pressure to deliver business results. Their energy would be better spent finding ways to develop new digital business and revenue streams, optimizing supply chains and delivering data-driven analytics.

IBM and 451 Research recently conducted a study to identify the common challenges organizations face when implementing hybrid cloud environments and to explore the ways that IT departments are optimizing their hybrid cloud mix. Among the findings, the study revealed that 64% of IT leaders surveyed say innovation is key to their activities but acknowledged that the level of transformation required to support new business strategies will be significant as market and customer expectations continue to grow.

The challenge of outdated infrastructure

Whether hybrid cloud infrastructure happens through planning or by accident, businesses with these dynamic and evolving environments face a common challenge: According to the study, 83% of respondents reported they could be more effective at managing their infrastructure than they are today.

Of course, IT infrastructure is critical to nearly every business, but what gives this need more import now? Most businesses were already trying to navigate their way through a world where business needs and technology requirements force rapid adaptation. They recognized the need to embrace agility and adapt their operations and infrastructure to support the speed and flexibility a modern business requires. In the face of the global pandemic, the need feels far more urgent.

The path to hybrid optimization

The task of optimizing and managing a hybrid cloud environment comes at a time when IT departments are being asked to increasingly contribute to their enterprises’ bottom line by spearheading innovation and streamlining operations. The pressure is on, and IT teams clearly feel it. For most businesses, the two main obstacles to hybrid optimization are lack of a clear transformational strategy and a shortage of the skills needed to execute that strategy.

To bridge that gap, enterprises are seeking help from external service providers. In fact, the 451 Research study shows that 62% of respondents plan to use external partners to help migrate their existing workloads and applications. Another 51% will use partners to improve the management of their IT infrastructure. That’s understandable. External partners can provide skills that internal teams often lack and offer a wider range of experience in optimizing cloud infrastructures.

Enterprises clearly see that keeping a competitive edge requires a modernized and optimized hybrid cloud environment. Connecting with partners may be the smoothest and swiftest path forward.

Read more about what the 451 Research study uncovered by downloading the full report, Business Transformation in the Era of Unplanned Hybrid Clouds. This study, based on primary research survey data, assesses the market dynamics of hybrid cloud infrastructure design and use. It included interviews with 1,805 senior business and IT decisions makers. You’ll learn the challenges enterprises are facing, as well as steps being taken to achieve an optimized hybrid environment.