Research finds IT leaders are choosing hybrid cloud strategies

According to a recent study by Citrix, 25% of organisations surveyed in the UK have already moved half or more of their cloud based-workloads back to on-premises infrastructures, or are considering doing so, in a phenomenon known as cloud repatriation.

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The survey, which questioned 350 IT leaders on their current hybrid cloud strategies, showed that 93% of respondents had been involved with a cloud repatriation project in the last three years.

Cloud repatriations: Drivers and experiences

Unexpected security issues and high project expectations, at 33%, were reported as the top drivers for moving some cloud-based workloads back to on-premises infrastructures. Another major driver was the failure to meet or properly set internal expectations, accounting for 24%. After reflecting on their experience, IT leaders found that the most common reasons for cloud repatriation projects were security concerns, unexpected costs, performance issues, compatibility problems, and service downtime.

Over 43% of IT leaders found that moving projects from on-premises to the cloud was more expensive than expected, while 54% said it was financially predictable. The cost-benefit analysis of cloud versus on-premises infrastructure varies greatly depending on the organisation.

Despite previously unsuccessful cloud projects, 67% of respondents are still encouraged to start new projects in the future. Instead of a complete cloud approach, IT leaders would recommend a mix of ‘mostly cloud and some on-premises’ to the CIO. “Hybrid cloud infrastructures offer the best of both worlds across both public and private models. Organisations can optimise costs, seamlessly integrate systems, and experiment with innovation projects without compromising on agility or flexibility,” said Calvin Hsu, Vice President of Product Management at Citrix.

Hybrid security: Concerns and strategies

As IT leaders consider utilising a hybrid strategy, a key consideration is whether cloud or on-premises is the most secure for safeguarding sensitive information. In Citrix’s study, 33% of respondents stated that they had fallen victim to the same number of cyberattacks regardless of whether data and applications were hosted on-premises or in a hybrid environment. The experience of security vulnerabilities varied among different organisations, with some reporting fewer incidents on-premises while others experienced more.

Security is a top priority, and 77% of IT leaders agreed that cloud technologies can help prevent cybersecurity incidents. Moving workloads and cloud repatriation projects can pose a risk, and IT leaders are worried that these projects could make them vulnerable to a cyberattack. With benefits to both cloud and on-premises infrastructures, 35% of these IT leaders currently have projects in both cloud and on-premises.

“It’s clear that IT leaders are still trying to find the right balance between cloud and on-premises,” Hsu added. “With evolving demands and unexpected changes to priorities, enterprises need a model that allows them to scale resources up or down as required while maintaining security, compliance, and business performance. 

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