Cloud computing company Nutanix has released the findings of its fifth annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey to determine enterprise progress with cloud adoption as well as the biggest data management challenges that organizations face globally.
Market research firm, Vanson Bourne conducted the research in Dec. 2022 and Jan. 2023 on behalf of Nutanix, surveying 1,450 IT decision-makers around the world, from multiple industries and business sizes.
The study revealed that organizations are struggling with the visibility and management of their data, which is being generated at an unprecedented pace across different cloud environments.
Attitudes towards multi-cloud environments have also changed massively, the report revealed. In the 2018 ECI study, over half of respondents envisioned running all workloads exclusively in either a private or the public cloud.
In later ECI studies, the inevitability, and even the benefits, of running workloads across public cloud, on-premises, and at the edge became more apparent, with more than 60 per cent of enterprises leveraging more than one IT infrastructure. That number, previous ECI surveys showed, is even set to grow. Currently, only 12 per cent of organizations use a hybrid, multi-cloud model, but that number is expected to more than triple in just one year, to 38 per cent.
But data residing in multiple cloud environments is leading to more complex challenges and considerations in choosing the right IT infrastructure.
For instance, respondents cite cybersecurity, data recovery, and sovereignty as the top criteria when determining which IT infrastructure to deploy. Only 40 per cent of respondents report having complete visibility into where their data resides, a disadvantage that further jeopardizes their organization’s security.
But respondents are aware of the growing threat landscape. Over 90 per cent of respondents report that their organization needs to be better prepared against ransomware and malware, indicating gaps in respondents’ security strategies.
Furthermore, 85 per cent consider cloud cost as a challenging IT management issue, and more than 34 per cent rank it a “significant” challenge. Respondents agree that moving applications among environments can be complex and costly. As a matter of fact, nearly half of respondents plan to repatriate some applications to on-premises data centers to mitigate cloud costs in the year ahead.
IT and cloud talent recruitment and retention is also a massive concern for organizations’ budgets in the coming year, the survey showed. Companies will notably hire for roles like IT specialists (59 per cent), cloud engineers or architects (48 per cent), and cloud native developers (46 per cent) in the next two years.
As sustainability grows in importance, 86 per cent of organizations are finding it difficult to meet ESG (environmental, social and governance) and other sustainability initiatives, including everything from reducing energy consumption to strategies to help ensure business viability in uncertain economic times.
To deal with these challenges, organizations are optimizing their digital transformation journeys and implementing solutions like Kubernetes container orchestration and cloud-agnostic management tools designed to remove the underlying differences among cloud platforms and automate certain functions. But designing and configuring the underlying infrastructure, storage, and database services remain challenging.
With these roadblocks, the demand for unification and interoperability is great. Nearly all (94 per cent) of ECI respondents agree with the statement that “one place to run and manage all applications and data across clouds is ideal for my organization.”
But only 39 per cent of respondents say they have full interoperability, 53 per cent say they have some level of interoperability and 8 per cent report limited interoperability between environments.
“In the coming years, there will be hundreds of millions of applications created, which will generate unprecedented amounts of data,” said Lee Caswell, senior vice president, product and solutions marketing at Nutanix. “What this year’s ECI shows, and what we’re hearing from customers, is that there’s a need in the market for a cloud operating model to help build, operate, use, and govern a hybrid multi-cloud to support all types of applications – starting today and planning for tomorrow.”