2024 Enterprise Cloud Index: Top Priorities and Challenges for IT Leaders

By Lee Caswell, SVP of Products and Solutions Marketing

March 20, 2024 | min

The people have spoken and the findings are in! UK research team Vanson Bourne recently completed the sixth annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey to uncover the most pressing IT and cloud infrastructure challenges that global enterprises face today. 

After surveying 1,500 IT, DevOps, and Platform Engineering decision makers across the world, the results are loud and clear: Hybrid multicloud (a combination of on-prem, edge and multiple cloud environments) continues to reign supreme as the infrastructure of choice, and top priorities are data security and the defending against ever-increasing number of ransomware attacks.

Hybrid Multicloud Is the De Facto Infrastructure Standard

While almost half (46%) of respondents have already adopted a hybrid cloud or hybrid multicloud infrastructure model, a vast majority of respondents (90%) are taking advantage of the hybrid IT mindset by deploying applications wherever they will operate the best, whether that’s on private or public clouds, on-premises data centers, or even the edge. 

Organizations want deployment flexibility and see value in all of the infrastructure types for certain use cases or data management needs. In fact, “flexibility to run solutions across clouds and on-prem” was the number one driver in hybrid multicloud or hybrid IT adoption. Hybrid multicloud delivers that flexibility and allows organizations to optimize workload placement. That’s likely why more than 80% of organizations consider hybrid IT environments as the most beneficial infrastructure approach and almost half of respondent companies’ CIOs are making hybrid IT implementation a top priority. 

Hybrid multicloud infrastructure doesn’t come without its challenges, however. More environments mean more complexity. Leveraging all of these environments also means more providers, with a variety of different toolsets and processes, and a range of varying skillsets needed to adequately manage data and workloads from one environment to the next. 

When organizations deploy workloads in multiple environments, they must also address the issue of interoperability. Over half of the study’s respondents stated that their hybrid multicloud environments aren’t fully interoperable. At Nutanix, we feel that a hybrid multicloud model that doesn’t offer full interoperability isn’t true hybrid multicloud—it is more likely just a collection of siloed cloud and on-premises environments. Without interoperability, organizations could be leaving themselves vulnerable to potential security breaches, data loss, redundant operations, or inefficient and costly resource utilization issues. 

Based on the survey results, it’s clear that a unified hybrid multicloud architecture that provides a common operating model across cloud, on-premises, and edge environments, is critical to success. 

Ransomware and Other Data Security Concerns Are Only Increasing 

The never-ending rise of ransomware and malware attacks continues to be a struggle for enterprises across every industry around the globe. It was the number one challenge area for respondents’ current IT infrastructure. Additionally, “ransomware protection and data security” was ranked as the top data management challenge for respondents. 

Given these concerns, it’s no surprise that 89% of survey respondents admitted to being victims of a ransomware attack in the past three years. Almost two-thirds said it took days, weeks, or even months to restore full operations. That downtime has the potential to severely damage an organization’s revenue, not to mention its brand reputation and customer loyalty. 

Data security in general, including ransomware protection, is tougher than ever today in part because of the hybrid multicloud approach to IT infrastructure. As stated above, it creates complexity and requires careful planning and monitoring with multilayered solutions to prevent, detect, mitigate, and recover from attacks. Strong protection against both systems and data also requires a degree of flexibility across every IT environment so organizations can secure new workloads and applications when needed and defend against evolving and as-yet-unknown attack methods. 

Additional Key Findings Include Insights on Workload Placement, Sustainability, and AI-Driven Modernization

In addition to respondents sharing their perspectives on hybrid multicloud adoption and data security concerns, the ECI study had several other key findings: 

Workload placement and migration

Organizations prefer to have the flexibility of placing workloads in the IT environment that best suits their needs—and those needs often change over time. Most of the respondents (95%) said they moved applications from one environment to another in the past year, most typically to drive innovation and address security requirements. More than a third of respondents, however, admitted difficulty in workload migration due to the configuration of their current IT infrastructure—and 89% feel that moving workloads to a different cloud environment is costly and time consuming. 

Sustainability initiatives on the rise

98% of survey respondents say their organization supports some type of sustainability initiative. In last year’s report, a majority of respondents agreed that sustainability was a priority but many hadn’t yet taken action. This year, more respondent companies had actively worked on increasing sustainability—and interestingly, for more than half of respondents, that action came in the form of modernizing their IT infrastructure. That’s notable because it’s fascinating to see how central IT infrastructure is to the organization not only in terms of operational performance and service delivery, but also in terms of sustainability initiatives. 

Modernizing infrastructure is vital to reaping AI benefits

Another key reason respondents are modernizing their IT infrastructure is to take advantage of the many benefits and capabilities of AI. 37% of respondents state that their current infrastructure would make running an AI application a significant challenge today. While AI solutions are still maturing and organizations are determining use cases and considering impact on budgets, it’s becoming vital for companies to get their IT infrastructure up to speed quickly to stay competitive and not lose out on the ways AI can positively transform operations, customer service, and more. 

ECI Takeaway: Hybrid Multicloud Is Key to Future-Proofing Organizations

As always, we’ve learned a lot from this latest report on the state of cloud deployments and IT infrastructure challenges. At Nutanix, our main takeaway is that hybrid multicloud done right can set organizations up to benefit from tomorrow’s technology—while also improving competitiveness today. Many of the infrastructure challenges this year’s respondents identified can be alleviated with hybrid multicloud solutions that simplify IT operations and offer a consistent data security model across the entire ecosystem and make cross-environment migration and management seamless with true interoperability. 

To learn more about the findings, please download the complete Sixth Annual Enterprise Cloud Index here.

Further Reading:

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