Canadian business is sold on hybrid cloud: survey

C-level executives are 32 per cent more likely than IT leaders to advocate immediately moving to hybrid cloud environment

As many as 76 per cent of Canadian companies expect to have more than half of their applications and services deployed on a hybrid cloud platform within three years, according to a survey of C-level executives, business unit leaders and IT-decision makers.

The survey conducted by Wakefield Research for IT services firm Avanade Inc., polled 1,000 respondents from various industries in 21 countries about their cloud adoption plans. The survey was released at the Microsoft Canada: Cloud and Mobility Summit in Toronto.

With IT spending decisions shifting outside the IT department, the survey also found that C-level executives are “most optimistic about the value of hybrid cloud solutions, and most motivated to adopt them.

A hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds (private, public or community) that remain distinct entities but are bundled together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models. For example, an organization may store sensitive client data on a private cloud application, but interconnect that application to a business intelligence application provided on a public cloud-as-software service.

IT organizations might also use public cloud computing resources to meet temporary capacity demands that can’t be met by the private cloud. Hybrid clouds platforms are able to provide such rapid scaling capabilities.

C-level executives are 32 per cent more likely than IT leaders to advocate immediately moving critical applications including data and analytics, e-commerce applications and customer-facing services to hybrid cloud environments.

In recent years, many Canadian companies tested the cloud model, according to Stephen Ng, director of infrastructure service line, at Avanade Canada. “Many implementations failed, but now companies are ready to give it another try.”

Many firms have not developed a strategy to use hybrid cloud as an integrated part of their corporate IT infrastructure, said Rob Raponi, director for central region, at Avanade Canada.

“No one organization is going full public cloud, what we are seeing is majority of Canadian firms are examining the potential of hybrid clouds to increase their capacity and augment what they have,” he said. “But at this early stage many do not have any clear hybrid cloud strategy.”

Other findings of the survey were:

  • Companies are investing in hybrid cloud solutions at a faster rate than private or public cloud, with 68 per cent (69 per cent globally) of Canadian companies agreeing that implementing a hybrid cloud strategy will be one of their biggest areas of focus in 2015.
  • Despite clear agreement that hybrid cloud adoption should be a priority, 57 per cent (58 per cent globally) of Canadian companies currently do not have a hybrid cloud strategy in place.
  • Few companies fully understand hybrid cloud’s potential. Just 22 per cent (16 per cent globally) of Canadian respondents are able to identify the full range of benefits afforded by hybrid solutions. These benefits include the ability to integrate private and public clouds, place workloads in the cloud type of best fit, share workload on multiple public clouds and scale up or down as needed.
  • Canadian companies overwhelmingly agree that hybrid cloud will enable their organizations to focus on issues which are core to the growth of the business (76 per cent Canadian; 74 per cent globally).
  • Most companies are not yet developing applications to truly leverage cloud-native capabilities. 66 per cent (71 per cent globally) of Canadian companies are simply using the cloud infrastructure to run existing applications which means that they are not realizing the speed, scale and efficiency that cloud solutions offer.
  • 52 per cent (53 per cent globally) of Canadian companies identified security and privacy issues — real and perceived — as top concerns to hybrid implementation, yet 55 per cent (60 per cent globally) of Canadian respondents admit that public cloud solutions are more secure than they were three years ago.
  • In spite of their concerns, organizations are optimistic about the promise of hybrid cloud and its ability to differentiate them from the competition. Companies of all sizes and in all geographies expect that more than half of their applications and services will be deployed in a hybrid cloud environment within an average of three years.

Raponi said what many organizations need is “orchestration.”

Application orchestration enables the decoupling of applications from each other, provides capabilities for tasks such as message routing, security, and monitoring of integrations centrally.

“At the end of the day, what organizations often have is a block of compute,” he said. “What they need is something that will integrate all their applications and services together to automate a process, or synchronize data in real-time.”

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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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