IBM today released results of a survey that showed that leading enterprise organizations are using hybrid clouds to gain a competitive edge—even using them as a springboard to newer, higher-value initiatives such as the Internet of things (IoT) and cognitive computing.
The study showed that two-thirds of organizations implementing hybrid clouds said they are gaining competitive advantage from their hybrid environments and are nearly three times as likely to use them to assemble data assets or monetize data, said Cynthya Peranandam, a principal at the IBM Center for Applied Insights, who helped author the study.
"While we know that hybrid is the norm now, what's revealing in this study is that leading companies use hybrid cloud to their advantage to get ahead with emerging technologies like cognitive or IoT—areas where disruption is going to impact business results and market leadership," said Peranandam.
A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud services with orchestration between the platforms. IBM claims a leadership position in the hybrid cloud space and says it is uniquely qualified to provide hybrid cloud products and services to the enterprise.
IBM boasts that what differentiates it in the hybrid cloud space is all of its partnerships, its historical relationship with its enterprise clients and its deep understanding of the enterprise. The company also is a major supporter of open technologies as it relates to the cloud. Moreover, IBM clients have a lot of value spread across different platforms and devices and are ideally suited to the hybrid cloud, the company said.
"Since early in its cloud efforts, around the time of the company's 2013 acquisition of SoftLayer, IBM identified hybrid cloud as the model its customers preferred," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "There were good reasons for that at the time that continue today. For the vast majority of enterprises and many other businesses, the concept of running all their applications and storing all their data in public clouds is simply a non-starter. So to fully capture the significant benefits of cloud, deploying and managing hybrid environments that blend private and public clouds is the way to go."
For its study, Growing Up Hybrid: Accelerating Digital Transformation, the IBM Center for Applied Insights surveyed 500 hybrid cloud implementers from 13 countries and 23 industries. The IBM Center for Applied Insights is a think tank within IBM that does thought studies around key business problems. The center's goal is to publish data-driven findings and research that will enable business leaders to make better informed decisions and provide them with insights they can apply across their companies.
"What we really wanted to do was cut through all the market information about hybrid," Peranandam told eWEEK. "Hybrid cloud is becoming the normal state of being for a lot of companies, whether organically or otherwise. We didn't want to go out and replicate a standard study on what's hybrid adoption and is it happening. We know that piece. What we really wanted to delve into is what hybrid is enabling people to do. What are people really doing with it, and are there, in fact, people getting more value out of hybrid than others?"