The cloud has forever changed the way businesses operate. By providing on-demand access to resources and applications, the cloud has enabled companies to be more agile and efficient. As cloud technology continues to evolve, businesses are increasingly turning to hybrid clouds as a way to optimize their IT infrastructure. Many organizations around the world are using multiple clouds for important work. They use clouds to improve security, performance, business agility, and resilience. Some organizations also need clouds to meet regulatory or sovereignty requirements. A recent report by CISCO explores how well these organizations are doing with using hybrid clouds.
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are the new normal
Many organizations use multiple clouds to carry out a multitude of applications and improve business agility and scalability.
- 82% of the organizations use hybrid IaaS cloud infrastructure for their workloads while only 8% depend on a single public IaaS cloud provider.
- 73% of organizations have switched to hybrid cloud for disaster recovery, 47% for security and 70% use hybrid cloud for application development.
- Almost 58% of organizations use 2-3 public IaaS cloud providers for their workloads and 31% of the respondents use 4-10 public cloud providers. Organizations that have over 5000 employees (8%) are more likely to have more than 10 public cloud providers in use than smaller organizations (5%).
- 23% of respondents have reported using 20-100 different SaaS providers for their business purposes like email, collaboration and video calling, customer relationship management, and human capital management. 45% of organizations have 5-10 SaaS vendors in use.
- 42% of the respondents either use or would use multiple IaaS, PaaS and SaaS providers to effectively manage security considerations like data residency and exposure risk. Again 42% of organizations want to achieve more agile and scalable development environments with multiple IaaS, SaaS and PaaS providers while 41% want to access best-of-breed cloud services and applications.
Challenges grow with multiple clouds
Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud adoption come with a set of challenges. Organizations have rated security as their topmost challenge, followed by operational complexity and managed costs.
- Organizations are looking at all options to improve their security posture. 44% of the respondents want to include cloud-native technologies and 58% want to use infrastructure as code. 32% of respondents have said that securing APIs across multiple clouds is a significant challenge, in addition to managing the security of the overall environment.
- 79% of the survey respondents told that more than half of their workloads run on different hardware across all environments. Therefore, there is a need for a comprehensive toolset for managing workloads. 60% of respondents have said that a SaaS-based operations platform is their leading choice for ensuring that the business objectives are met.
- 66% of respondents said that they are not using multicloud with the expectation of reducing cloud service costs. 56% of organizations are using a cost/benefit approach to justify and load-balance cloud service purchasing.
- According to the survey, CloudOps and DevOps respondents said that a cloud-first mandate for all new application development (34%) is the indicator of changing development processes and tools in their organization followed by cost optimization (19%) and automation (18%).
- Most of the developers wish to be a part of their organizations’ networking strategy and priorities because 53% move workloads/applications between off-premises and on-premises environments, while 39% do so monthly.
The respondents were much interested in leading-edge technologies that can benefit from hybrid architectures. 49% were interested in the deployment of infrastructure automation, 41% in edge computing and 27% expressed interest in composable infrastructure.
- 39% of respondents said they have already deployed infrastructure automation. 55% of organizations with more than 10 clouds in operation have reported much higher levels of automation deployment.
- Surveyed organizations were in favor of more efficient operation, with a strong interest in predictive capabilities. 45% are using AIOps technology at present, and 49% are planning to deploy it in the next year.
- 88% of respondents either presently use or expect to use data fabrics within two years to ensure that data is available across a hybrid environment.
Using cloud-native technologies
- 91% of the survey respondents are actively moving or planning to move or refactor production workloads and applications using cloud-native technologies. DevOps and CloudOps respondents said requirements around performance (45%), security (44%) and speed (39%) as their top considerations driving the use of cloud-native technologies.
- Organizations are optimistic about the potential of cloud-native technologies, however, 66% of respondents in DevOps and CloudOps roles say that security is a key challenge in using cloud-native, followed by process and tools integration (57%) and budget constraints (52%).
Summary: Hybrid cloud can help organizations improve security, performance, business agility, and operational resilience. It is a way to use many technologies to make it easier for developers to work efficiently and effectively. The surveyed organizations have a more mature approach to cloud use and operations and expect to make the most of agility, scale and technology advances while expecting to utilize automation for managing costs and complexity. Hybrid cloud environments require a proactive and consistent collaboration between cloud operations, networking and DevOps teams to ensure security, performance and agility.