According to an Infosys-sponsored IDC study, more than 40% of enterprises are adopting hybrid cloud, but with the growing complexity of mixing public, private, and on-premises IT, companies are facing significant challenges in developing an expertise in monitoring these environments and managing them holistically. The study indicates that buyers are looking to partner with a reliable cloud ecosystem integrator to help optimize their cloud investments, stated David Tapper, Vice President, IDC Outsourcing Services Research.
As one of the world’s largest integration and service providers, Infosys has a vested interest in promoting third-party support, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a real – and growing – need, said Vishnu Bhat, Vice-President and Global Head, Cloud Services. The enterprise cloud environment is changing rapidly and is very different from just 18 months ago, he said. “A significant degree of leadership today do realize the value of cloud… innovation, flexibilty, time to market and overall efficiency.”
Part of the reason for the study was to confirm Infosys’ understanding of the market, he said. The India-based company, which focuses on the Global 2000, has a lot of proof-of-concept cloud trials across its US customer base, including financial services, telecommunications, retail and energy, and high-tech manufacturing. “Almost all of them are tending towards a hybrid cloud, extreme automation of private cloud and getting into public cloud.”
The study showed that 53% of organizations in the Telecom industry have formalized cloud strategies and roadmaps, compared to more than 38% in the Financial Services arena, but when it comes to hybrid cloud adoption, Financial Services leads the pack (64%) planning to adopt, followed by Healthcare (47%), Manufacturing (40%), and Retail (37%). However private cloud is still the preferred option, with 69% planning to take that route.
The good news for Infosys is that just over half the companies surveyed (56%) are engaging or considering engaging an external service provider to understand how they can help with their cloud strategy, adoption roadmap, and implementation. Organizations are primarily looking at the cloud for productivity gains (37%) and cost savings (25%). Nearly half (48%) rated data security and integration, automation, orchestration of applications between private cloud, public cloud, and on-premise IT environments very high.
The bad news is that moving existing enterprise legacy applications to the cloud will take armies of consultants, tons of dough, and an obscene amount of time, wrote Steve Duplessie, Founder and Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in a new blog. “ In order to see significant MONEY spent to migrate/move existing apps to the cloud (private or public), we must overcome certain obstacles (cost, complexity and time).”
It’s not easy to to take even a single-instance, limited interdependent application on a single stack and move it out to the cloud, he said. “It’s not cheaper. If anything it’s more expensive. And it’s not easy to plan and accomplish—it takes time, something IT is woefully short of.”
So while the hybrid model exploits cloud potential to the fullest, said Bhat, it also means increased complexity: integrating cloud applications; dealing with multiple cloud vendors; securely orchestrating data across multiple environments; and above all, acquiring a unified view of resource availability and demand across the cloud ecosystem. A poorly managed environment can erase nearly all the gains from the hybrid cloud, and worse, create cost overruns and a governance nightmare, he said.
“While organizations may set out on the cloud journey on their own, they need expert guidance to navigate a variegated – read hybrid – cloud environment.”
Some added/borrowed wisdom from Duplessie: “People dramatically overestimate what will change within two years, and radically underestimate what will change in ten.”