IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news

According to the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2016, 66 percent of respondents report that security remains the greatest challenge.

The ‘IT Trends Report 2016: The Hybrid IT Evolution’ study features insights from UK IT practitioners, managers and directors proving that the vast majority of businesses have shifted away from on-premises-only infrastructure to hybrid IT environments, creating new pressures and concerns, such as resource and skillset requirements, for IT professionals.

“The findings of this year’s study paint a clear picture: cloud adoption is nearly ubiquitous, but it’s not now and will not in the foreseeable future be suitable for all workloads, and even if it were, very few if any companies would convert all of their existing applications to run in the cloud,” said Joel Dolisy, CIO, SolarWinds. “The resulting dynamic —one set of critical on-premises services connected with another set of services in the cloud — is hybrid IT. And in the middle of this evolution is the IT professional who needs to ensure always-on performance of applications, devices, networks and systems—regardless of location. They need to be empowered with the support to gain the skills and tools required to properly manage hybrid IT environments, which in turn will allow businesses to truly unlock the potential of the cloud.”

Key findings from the study include:

  • Nearly all (90 percent) of the IT professionals surveyed say adopting cloud technologies is important to their organizations’ long-term business success; more than a quarter (28 percent) say it is extremely important.
  • Only 42 percent estimate that half or more of their organizations’ total IT infrastructure will be in the cloud within the next 3-5 years.
  • 65 percent say it is unlikely that all of their organizations’ infrastructure will ever be migrated to the cloud.
  • Overall, only 7 percent say their organizations have not migrated any infrastructure to the cloud, compared to 13 percent in 2015.
  • The number of enterprise businesses that have not migrated anything to the cloud went from 17 percent in 2015 to just 5 percent in 2016.

IT professionals are faced with a dual mandate: increase efficiency through cloud services while also ensuring critical systems, databases and applications are secure:

  • The top three hybrid IT benefits by weighted rank are increased infrastructure flexibility/agility, infrastructure cost-reduction and eliminating responsibility for maintenance of underlying infrastructure, respectively.
  • 66 percent say that security is the biggest challenge associated with managing current hybrid IT environments.
  • The top three barriers to greater cloud adoption by weighted rank are security/compliance concerns, the need to support legacy systems and the work required to move existing infrastructure, respectively.
  • 72 percent say they have already migrated applications to the cloud, followed by storage (40 percent) and databases (27 percent).
  • The top three areas of infrastructure with the highest priority for continued or future migration by weighted rank are applications, storage and databases, respectively.

IT professionals require new skills, tools and resources to successfully drive the hybrid IT migration forward and enable their organizations to better meet business objectives:

  • Only 28 percent are certain their IT organizations currently have adequate resources to manage a hybrid IT environment.
  • The top five skills needed to better manage hybrid IT environments are hybrid IT monitoring/management tools and metrics (58 percent), service-orientated architectures (36 percent), application migration (35 percent), distributed architectures (33 percent) and vendor management (32 percent).
  • 48 percent indicated they have the level of support needed from leadership and the organization as a whole to develop/improve the skills they feel they need in order to better manage hybrid IT environments.

“IT is pervasive across work, life and geography,” Dolisy added. “IT runs the world and, without it, our technological existence would come to a screeching halt. Bring-your-own-device and now the Internet of Things have added and continue to add hundreds of thousands of new devices to corporate systems, and as illustrated in this year’s report, IT is also evolving from traditional on-premises-only infrastructure to the hybrid strategy driven by the existence of the cloud. In short, IT is everywhere. Effectively managing and monitoring the new environment—from on-premises to the cloud with multiplying endpoints—to be able to act when needed is more critical now than ever.”

The annual SolarWinds IT Trends Report consists of survey-based research that explores significant trends, developments and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals. The findings of this year’s report are based on a global survey fielded in December 2015.

Read the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2016: The Hybrid IT Evolution.

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