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Hybrid Cloud Fuels a Flexible Future, as 73% of Enterprises Move Apps Back on Prem: 2019 ECI Report Findings

By Wendy M. Pfeiffer

Ten years ago, Nutanix set out to create a company that enables any enterprise to harness the power of the cloud for all of its workloads, whether those services run in on-premise data centers or in the public cloud. Today, it’s evident how far we’ve come in fueling enterprise digital transformation — and how much work we still have to do. With more than 5,000 global employees and countless partners focused on realizing this mission, we are actively engaged in bringing flexible, scalable IT to businesses and industries of all types.

To better understand IT decision-makers’ thought process when it comes to selecting and utilizing clouds, we brought to life our first annual Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index Report last year. We set out to shed light on where businesses run their applications today, where they plan to run them in the future, what their cloud challenges are, and how their cloud initiatives stack up against other IT projects and priorities. This year, we did the same, interviewing approximately 2,650 IT decision-makers and comparing the results. 

Notably, this year’s report clearly illustrates that creating and executing an effective digital transformation strategy is a multidimensional challenge, and one cloud consumption model is not enough. Many considerations come into play, but most importantly, flexibility is essential — and hybrid cloud provides this choice.

The number of enterprises planning to deploy hybrid cloud remained high: enterprises are still working aggressively to shift to hybrid cloud architectures, with respondents reporting steady and substantial hybrid deployment plans over the next five years. In addition to continued hybrid deployment, we saw a few trends across enterprises this year that point to a continued emphasis on security, flexibility, and the importance of application mobility in refining and executing enterprise IT strategies.

Application mobility is essential 

Our survey found that nearly three-fourths (73%) of respondents are moving some applications out of public cloud and back on premise, with 22% moving five or more applications!  61% of respondents also stated that application mobility across clouds and cloud types is “essential.” These findings illustrate that more than ever, enterprises require portability to move between cloud and on-prem infrastructure — and they look to hybrid cloud flexibility to adapt their infrastructures based on fluctuating requirements. 

Security is “make or break” for businesses’ cloud strategies 

This year, security remained the biggest factor impacting enterprises’ future cloud strategies; well over half of 2019 respondents (60%) said that the state of security between clouds will have the biggest influence on their cloud deployment plans going forward. Similarly, data security and compliance represented the top variable in determining where an enterprise runs a given workload (26%). 

For those who expressed security as a concern, respondents believe hybrid cloud best addresses that concern. With hybrid cloud’s inherent data location optionality, more than a quarter of respondents (28%) selected the hybrid model as offering the ability to collect, store and analyze data in the most secure, yet performant mode. Businesses are hyper-focused on meeting security concerns and protecting consumer information, and hybrid has surfaced as the solution that provides the choice and flexibility needed for all data types.  

Digital transformation will fuel cloud computing goals 

While many respondents aren’t yet leveraging any cloud technology today, our survey showed enterprises are striving to integrate cloud computing into their digital transformation goals. 64% now believe digital transformation is a top business priority, and 72% of respondents believe digital transformation will have a positive impact on their cloud transformations. Respondents’ reported plans indicate that in one year’s time, the number of enterprises with no cloud deployments will plummet to 6.5% and in two years’ time will drop by more than half to 3%. 

We also found many organizations are still in early transformation stages, as evidenced by their concern with cost reduction (19%), improved business processes (19%) and modernizing outdated technology (18%) instead of business outcomes like improving customer experiences (16%) and adding revenue opportunities (13%) that we generally associate with digital transformation. 

One year later, we can see that the ability to select and change the mode in which applications and services run is still the most desirable operational model for most enterprises. While cost optimization remains a key IT portfolio driver, elasticity, performance, data security and flexibility remain strong balancing factors. In this context, hybrid cloud continues to meet IT professionals where they work, enabling interoperability among cloud types and enhanced flexibility overall. Although barriers to implementation still exist, I believe that hybrid cloud will continue to be the first choice for enterprises at every stage of transformation.

To read the full 2019 findings, you can find the full report attached.

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