ESG analyst Scott Sinclair discusses the findings of ESG's latest research into hybrid cloud demand and adoption.
For modern IT, it is the era of the cloud. According to ESG research, 85% of IT organizations are leveraging public cloud services. And among Infrastructure as a Service users, 81% are leveraging more than one provider. Cloud adoption has been so prolific that some have even predicted the end of the data center. Well, I'm here to say that the data center isn't dead yet, far from it. Amid all this cloud excitement, another trend has emerged. Forty-one percent of IT organizations have pulled at least one workload back from public cloud infrastructure services to be run on-premises in the data center. So what does this mean? It means that a business decided to make the switch to the cloud, migrated a workload and the data to the cloud, then after time, ran into some sort of issue or concern and then made the decision and incurred often significant costs to move that workload or workloads back again.
At ESG, we conducted a detailed investigation into this phenomenon to discover the logic behind these moves and we found a wealth of insights. First, a disclaimer. This data is not anti-cloud. While the data center isn't dead, neither is the cloud. Public cloud services offer considerable value. What we found, however, is that the idea that the public cloud is always better or always less expensive simply is not true. While I don't have enough time to discuss everything, there are some high-level takeaways that I can share.
First, the decision to move a workload back was not driven by some sort of specific company type or workload type or cloud provider. We identified a wide variety of workloads across multiple industries and multiple cloud providers that were moved back on-premises. Second, while there were multiple factors that drove the decisions to pull workloads back, a couple of the most commonly identified reasons were data security and cost.
So what do these points mean? First, there is no magic bullet. The public cloud is not automatically less expensive. Sometimes, on-premises is the more cost-effective option. Sometimes, it's the cloud. Second, while the factors that determine the optimal infrastructure are often specific to the company and the workload environment, businesses are simply not doing enough up front to properly size their workloads for cost, for performance, which plays a significant role in determining the cost of cloud services, and for data sensitivity. And they are paying for their mistakes. Ultimately, your workload environment is specific to your business. Don't make assumptions when it comes to hybrid cloud decisions. The hybrid cloud is the present and the future of IT and we need to be smarter when finding the balance.