Hybrid cloud preferred IT infrastructure among IT execs
Hybrid cloud is the ideal IT infrastructure model, according to 86% of respondents in the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index survey and research report. Respondents running hybrid environments are also more likely to plan to focus on strategic efforts and driving positive business impact.
The report measures enterprise progress with adopting private, hybrid and public clouds. This year, respondents were also asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on current and future IT decisions and strategy.
The pandemic has shifted IT focus towards remote worker support and enabling near-instant infrastructure deployments that reach geographically distributed workforces, spurring increased enterprise progress with cloud expansion.
More respondents are running hybrid environments and are likely to offer more flexible work set-ups, strengthen their business continuity plans, simplify operations and increase digital conferencing usage because of the pandemic.
76% of respondents said the pandemic made them think more strategically about IT, while 46% said their investments in hybrid cloud have increased as a result of the pandemic, including public and private clouds.
The report found that among those who use public clouds, 63% of respondents use two or more public clouds, or multicloud, and this number is expected to jump to 71% in the next 12 months.
The report also found that enterprises have taken steps to successfully run a hybrid environment, including adopting hyperconverged infrastructure in their data centres and decommissioning non-cloud-enabled data centres in favour of private and public cloud usage.
Global IT teams also foresee hybrid cloud deployments increasing by more than 37 percentage points over the next five years, with a 15-point drop in non-cloud-enabled data centres.
Notably, respondents most commonly reported running a mixed model of private cloud, public cloud and traditional data centres (nearly 26%), which is a likely precursor to hybrid cloud deployment.
In the 2019 survey, 27% of respondent companies had no full-time at-home workers. That number fell 20 percentage points in 2020 to 7% as a result of COVID-19. Respondents predict that 13% of companies will have no full-time remote employees by 2022, less than half as many as a year ago in 2019, before the pandemic. Improving IT infrastructure (50%) and work-from-home capabilities (47%) have therefore become priorities for the next 12 to 18 months.
The primary motives for respondents to modify their IT infrastructures are to get greater control of their IT resources (58%), gain the flexibility to meet business requirements (55%) and improve support for customers and remote workers (46%). By contrast, 27% mentioned cutting costs as a driver.
More education-industry respondents cited ‘ensuring that remote workers have adequate hardware’ as a more primary challenge than any other issue, with 47% citing ‘providing adequate communications channels among employees, customers and clients’ as a top challenge. The education sector ranked high in private cloud deployments, with 29% of respondents running private clouds only (higher than the 22% global average).
Wendy M Pfeiffer, Chief Information Officer of Nutanix, said many companies considered technology a basic function of business in January. However, technology has now taken on a new meaning, with Pfeiffer describing it as a complex strategy that makes or breaks a company’s long-term viability.
“COVID-19 has accelerated us into a new era of strategic IT and raised its profile considerably, and the findings from this year’s Enterprise Cloud Index reflect this new reality. Hybrid cloud is the frontrunner, and it will continue to be as we navigate our mixing of physical and virtual environments and move away from doing business in a single mode,” said Pfeiffer.
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