Thursday, 13 April 2017

Report 2017: Hybrid IT Organisations Experience Cost-Efficiencies and Scalability, but Still Struggle with IT Professional Skills Gap, Visibility, and Security Concerns

SolarWinds, a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today revealed the findings of its SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organisation. For 2017, SolarWinds’ annual state-of-the-industry study explores the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating the cloud, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organisations and IT job roles.

Overall, organisations in the United Kingdom (UK) are moving further into the cloud, with 92 percent of respondents reporting they have migrated critical applications and infrastructure over the past year. However, more than half (58 percent) said an IT skills gap was one of the five biggest challenges of the cloud and hybrid IT, while 59 percent said the existence of the cloud and hybrid IT have had at least somewhat of an impact on their careers in terms of requiring them to acquire new skills.

“No job is more affected by ongoing technology disruptions than the role of the IT professional, which is why we explore these dynamics year after year,” said Joe Kim, senior vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds. “By creating this portrait of today’s hybrid IT organisation, we get to the heart of the shifts occurring so we can better understand and cater to the unique needs of these unsung heroes of business. For today’s IT professionals, it’s absolutely critical not only to put the right solutions in place to best manage hybrid IT environments, but to prepare organisations—and themselves—for continued technology advancements, even as we move beyond cloud.”

2017 Key Findings

 

The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organisation explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals. Key findings show that today’s hybrid IT organisations are:

  1. Moving applications, storage, and databases further into the cloud.
  • In the past 12 months, IT professionals have migrated applications (69 percent), storage (54 percent), and databases (37 percent) to the cloud more than any other areas of IT.
  • By weighted rank, the top three reasons for prioritising these areas of their IT environments for migration were greatest potential for ROI/cost efficiency, availability, and elastic scalability, respectively.

 Experiencing the cost efficiencies of the cloud.

  • Nearly all (92 percent) organisations have migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year, yet over two-thirds (68 percent) spend less than 40 percent of their annual IT budgets on cloud technology.
  • Nearly half (41 percent) of organisations spend 70 percent or more of their annual IT budgets on on-premises (traditional) applications and infrastructure.
  • Nearly three in five (59 percent) organisations have received either most or all expected cloud benefits (i.e., cost efficiency, availability, and scalability).
  • Cost efficiency is at times not enough to justify migration to the cloud: 22 percent migrated areas to the cloud that were ultimately brought back on-premises due mostly to security/compliance issues and poor performance.
  1. Building and expanding cloud roles and skillsets for IT professionals.
  • More than half (59 percent) of IT professionals indicated that hybrid IT has required them to acquire new skills, while nine percent said it has altered their career path.
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of organisations have already hired/reassigned IT personnel, or plan to do so, for the specific purpose of managing cloud technologies.
  • The top cloud-related skill IT professionals improved over the past 12 months was automation, with over a third (36 percent) of IT professionals focusing on it, followed by migration skills (31 percent) and vendor management (27 percent).
  • Fifty-eight percent said an IT staff skills gap was one of the five biggest hybrid IT challenges, while 47 percent said increased workload/responsibilities.
  • Nearly half (45 percent) do not believe that IT professionals entering the workforce now possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments.

 Increasing in complexity and lacking visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure.

  • Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) said their organisations currently use up to three cloud provider environments, with the largest percentage using two to three; however, four percent uses 10 or more.
  • By weighted rank, the number one challenge created by hybrid IT is lack of control/visibility into the performance of cloud-based infrastructure, followed by increased infrastructure complexity.

To explore and interact with all of the 2017 findings, please visit the SolarWinds IT Trends Index, a dynamic web experience that presents the study’s findings by region, including charts, graphs, socially shareable elements, and additional insights into the data.

The findings of this year’s UK report are based on a survey fielded in December 2016, which yielded responses from 160 IT practitioners, managers, and directors in the UK from public and private sector small, mid-size, and enterprise companies whose organisations are leveraging cloud-based services for at least some IT infrastructure. All regions studied in 2017, as reported on the SolarWinds IT Trends Index, were North America, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK, with 868 respondents across all geographies combined.

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