Exploring the motivation for hybrid cloud–an industry perspective

By | 2 minute read | October 7, 2019

This is part 2 in a 6-part series on storage for hybrid cloud. In Part 1 I set the stage–getting us all on the same page with the terminology of hybrid cloud. In Part 2 we’re going to explore what’s behind this rapid industry shift toward hybrid cloud infrastructure.

The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) surveyed[1] over 1,000 executives in 19 industries headquartered in 20 countries to help quantify this rapid industry shift toward hybrid cloud. When the survey was done last year, they found 85 percent of companies were already operating some workloads in a multicloud environment today and that within 3 years’ time that model of computing would be practically ubiquitous. Now, remember that we noted in Part 1 that virtualization is “just about everywhere” today? In three years, hybrid cloud will be everywhere too and it will have arrived much faster than virtualization did. At least in part, this is because the idea behind hybrid cloud is that it allows developers to build once and deploy anywhere so they can innovate with speed and agility.

The IBV explored what is driving this rapid industry shift and discovered there are two points of view. From the IT side, it is about providing an environment to support the agility and flexibility the lines of business need for their new business models, products and services. These environments leverage AI infrastructure, big data infrastructure, analytics and mobile–and are moving fast.

Equally important from the CEO and shareholder side, it is about producing new revenue streams and enhancing margins. I don’t know if statements like that were ever made about virtualization; it was just a technology. But hybrid cloud is seen in the C-suite as a means of business survival.

The transition is not only happening fast, it’s happening across almost all business lines–from finance and HR; to operations departments like supply chain and manufacturing; to outbound functions like marketing, sales, and customer service; to the technical infrastructure that supports most of these functions. The rapid transition to hybrid cloud is being driven by grassroots efforts.

Perhaps the most important finding uncovered in the survey is that organizations which leverage hybrid cloud outperform organizations that do not. That finding applies to all industries, including government and education. Said another way, if your organization is not already thinking holistically about placing most key business processes in a hybrid cloud environment, do not be surprised if you start falling behind competitively. The thing that is driving organizations toward hybrid cloud, from the IT organization all the way to the C-suite, is a burning desire to not only remain competitive but also to create an edge and win against the competition.

The data shows that hybrid cloud is an inevitability for almost all of us. Because of that, I want to suggest that the way you think about your storage infrastructure must change.

In Part 3, we’ll take a look at how IT organizations are approaching their journey to hybrid cloud and the unique storage challenges emerging.

What do you think? Do the findings of the IBV survey mirror what you see in your organization? If there are differences, what are they? Join the conversation on social media using the icons below.

Read part 3 of this blog post series here.

[1] IBM Institute for Business Value, Assembling your cloud orchestra – A field guide to multicloud management, 2018