A Vote For IT And The Cloud Hook-Up

According to a new Harvard Business Review survey, reported by David Chernicoff, contributing writer, adopting a hybrid IT (More than 80% of businesses use either a mix of public and private cloud services or their own private cloud) is a strategic imperative. SMBs, in particular, cite significant improvements in business operations.

The Survey, on cloud and hybrid IT solutions, found that hybrid IT is here to stay, says the report, and that businesses need to invest not only in the underlying infrastructure, but also in the skills necessary to manage a complex hybrid environment.

Sponsored by Insight, the survey included more than 300 respondents, ranging from senior IT management and board-level executives to folks in the trenches. Here are the highlights:

Few SMBs rely primarily on public cloud. Compared with enterprises, smaller companies are more likely to be considering a pure cloud alternative to traditional IT infrastructure 

  • 18% of SMB survey respondents have adopted a primarily public-cloud approach
  • Across all levels of business, only 13% of respondents said they rely primarily on the public cloud
  • Half of all respondents cited security concerns as the main reason they are careful about the cloud  
  • Migration and operating costs are neck-and-neck with concerns over interoperability and customization 

Turning to traditional IT, the biggest concern is length of time it takes to get things done, with 44% of respondents identifying that as the most significant limitation. About a third of traditional IT users expressed concern about business agility, time to market and innovation, as well as better user and customer experiences. 

On a whole, says the report, the survey results are positive in terms of the benefits of cloud and hybrid IT adoption, with 40 to 50% of respondents saying that cloud and hybrid deployments have a positive impact on business operations. These impacts were more pronounced among SMB respondents. Compared with enterprise users, three times as many small businesses have seen time-to-market improvements, while twice as many reported improved revenue or profit.

eMail was the most common response by far when asked about what types of applications are being moved into the cloud or hybrid environment. Email and collaborative communications are the most natural fit for a cloud environment, says the report. Hosted email solutions having been long accepted as a reasonable use of cloud or off-premises resources for more than a decade, notes the report.

According to the report, the survey found less than a 25% adoption rate for other software-as-a-service offerings, including sales force automation, customer relationship management, project management, and training.

Finally, says the report, the survey results highlight how important it is to optimize the many systems involved in delivering services from IT to the business side of the house, especially systems that impact end-user and customer experiences. More than 80% of respondents said they are dissatisfied with how IT services are integrated and expressed concern about where tools and resources are connected.

For IT to best enable business success, concludes the report, it needs to exert significant control over all business technology assets, regardless of where they reside. In an era in which IT needs quick reflexes and the ability to innovate on demand, hybrid solutions maximize flexibility, enabling services and resources to be delivered when and where they are needed.

For additional information from the complete report, please visit here.



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