Hybrid Clouds Dominate in the Enterprise: IBM Study

A recent study by IBM's Institute for Business Value shows that hybrid cloud environments are dominant in the enterprise sector.

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A recent IBM study indicates that hybrid cloud environments are dominant in the enterprise, as companies continue to move workloads to the cloud, but also to keep a significant percentage of their workloads on premises.

The IBM study, "Tailoring hybrid cloud: Designing the right mix for innovation, efficiency and growth," found that 78 percent of respondents said their cloud initiatives are coordinated or fully integrated, compared to just 34 percent in 2012. For the category of users IBM refers to a "high performing organizations," that number rises to 83 percent. However, the survey also showed that respondents expect that nearly half their workloads—45 percent—will remain on-premises with dedicated servers.

The survey, conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), is based on in-person interviews and surveys of more than 1,000 C-suite executives from 18 industries. The IBM study also showed that the top reasons executives gave for adopting hybrid cloud solutions are: lowering total cost of ownership (54 percent), facilitating innovation (42 percent), enhancing operational efficiencies (42 percent) and more readily meeting customer expectations (40 percent).

"Enterprises are moving to the cloud, especially hybrid cloud, faster than anyone expected to support their digital transformation, drive business model innovation and fuel growth," said Marie Wieck, general manager of cloud integration at IBM, in a statement. "As clients continue to reap the benefits of integrating their on-premises infrastructure with the cloud, we see them increasing their investments in new workloads on public clouds. Successful clients have integrated plans to place workloads where they fit best, and IBM's hybrid cloud strategy provides this on-ramp for flexibility and growth."

In addition, according to the survey, respondents said moving to the cloud enabled them to expand into new industries (76 percent), create new revenue sources (71 percent) and create new business models (69 percent).

The IBM study also revealed key challenges that companies face as they move to the cloud. According to the study the top three challenges are perceived security or compliance risks and requirements (47 percent), cost structure (41 percent) and increased risk of operational disruption (38 percent).

Moreover, based on the findings of its survey, IBM recommends three actions for companies to drive competitive advantage through cloud adoption. One is to enhance their understanding of the business implications of the cloud. The second is to strengthen their ability to manage the complexity of multiple cloud ecosystem partners. And the third recommended action is to establish policies to adhere to security and compliance regulations.

In a separate study, IBM was recently named number one in hybrid cloud environments by market research firm Technology Business Research (TBR). In TBR's semiannual Cloud Customer Research survey of more than 1,800 enterprise respondents, IBM was identified as a leader in hybrid environment adoption thanks to its large enterprise customer base, brand reputation and expertise in hybrid integration and IT transformation, the firm said.

Meanwhile, just last week, Forrester Research ranked IBM among the leaders in the public cloud space, particularly when it comes to empowering enterprise developers with the tools they need to build applications.

The market research firm cited IBM as a "strong performer" in its latest Forrester Wave report, which evaluated global public cloud platforms for enterprise developers. Forrester gave IBM the highest possible score for its private and hybrid cloud strategy as well as the top ranking for IBM's infrastructure services.

"IBM gives enterprises the fastest path to real business value in the cloud," said Bill Karpovich, general manager of the IBM Cloud Platform, in a statement. "We believe being recognized as a strong performer in Forrester's latest Wave report reinforces what we hear from our clients every day—that cloud is not 'one size fits all.' Enterprises require choice and expertise to evolve their diverse application portfolios, and IBM Cloud was designed to deliver on those core tenets."

Moreover, in the report, Forrester lauded IBM's deep portfolio of application and development services in addition to Big Blue’s infrastructure offerings, which include bare metal and virtual servers, storage, security services and networking.