Still, ECI respondents have indicated significant progress with foundational steps: establishing private clouds, upping public cloud infrastructure use, and beginning to invest in hybrid cloud solutions, all while reducing their dependency on non-cloud-enabled data centers. These steps set the stage for individual private and public clouds to ultimately become integrated into a commonly managed and secured hybrid environment with seamless application and workload portability across private/public cloud borders.
Much of the new investment in 2020 occurred because of COVID-19, which forced IT shops to quickly establish cloud infrastructure to serve throngs of workers suddenly working from home (Figure 2).
|Figure 2. New Cloud Investments as a Direct Result of COVID-19*
||% of Global ECI 2020 Respondents
|Increased investment in public cloud
|Increased investment in hybrid cloud
|Increased investment in private cloud
|Made no new cloud investments because of the pandemic
|Source: Nutanix Third Annual Enterprise Cloud Index, 2020, N = 3,400
*Percentage of 2020 global ECI respondents who selected each answer.
Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Also, nearly two-thirds (65%) of ECI 2020 respondents said they’re running more applications in private and public clouds this year than they were last year, actions further helping to lay hybrid foundations.
Integration Amid Scarce Tools and Talent
Cloud integration and data center transitions don’t happen overnight. As IDC’s Mohan noted, a lack of hybrid tools has stifled adoption until recently, but the supply is picking up, which bodes well for hybrid progress in the coming year.
However, “there’s still a ways to go with [cloud integration] tools,” said Dominic Maidment, technology architect at Total Gas and Power Ltd in Red Hill, Surrey, England.
“I’m not convinced anyone could roll out one tool that works for our whole business, but they can provide open standards. For example, REST APIs have open standards around them, and that shows me there’s some good faith in approaching product development in a consistent manner.”
And skill sets that span private and public cloud domains hardly grow on trees just yet. More than a third of global ECI 2020 respondents (37%) reported being short on the IT skills necessary to manage hybrid cloud environments, and a third (33%) said they lacked skills in cloud-native and container technology, such as Kubernetes – tools that simplify bridging the technical disparities between private and public cloud technology.
“It would be simpler if things were all cloud-native, but that’s not the case,” said an infrastructure architect at a worldwide chemical company who asked not to be named.
“We looked into rebuilding legacy apps [to be cloud-native] a few years ago. We found it would be difficult because some software vendors are no longer around and we’ve also lost staff with those skills and knowledge over the years.”