Verizon argues importance of hybrid IT as CIOs agree cloud improves competitiveness

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

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More than half of CIOs polled by Verizon and Harvard Business Review say their use of cloud computing has improved their organisation’s competitiveness; but hybrid IT is the primary method of coping with digital transformation struggles.

The study, which polled more than 300 business and IT executives worldwide, found that 63% of organisations are pursuing a hybrid IT approach, yet a third (32%) are struggling to integrate cloud with other systems.

The top barriers preventing organisations from going deeper into cloud are, naturally, security (35%), integration with other systems (32%), and integrating multiple clouds (25%). What’s more, the report affirms the view that many organisations still use on-premises, as well as in-house, delivery for certain systems.

“It’s all about digital transformation in the enterprise: improving the customer experience and adopting new business models to respond to disruption from established rivals and new entrants, and hybrid IT is how you do that,” said Carl Lehmann, research manager in charge of enterprise architecture, integration, and business process management for the 451 Group.

Yet while this approach has its benefits – for instance, creating new business processes and customer-facing applications involving multiple cloud and non-cloud systems working together – there are drawbacks. “Few IT departments are experienced at managing this hybrid delivery model, or the network technologies required to make it work,” the report notes. “As a result, companies are beginning to partner with experienced hybrid IT providers that have the expertise and products to deliver these newer technologies and capabilities.”

The report agrees many companies are struggling with hybrid IT – “a repeatable, reliable, and consistent hybrid IT approach remains the exception rather than the rule” – but reiterates the importance of getting an orchestrated mix of systems right. Yet help is at hand. The report also notes companies are recognising the importance of outsourcing infrastructure management, in order to help them stay on top of technology change – as cited by 72% of respondents – as well as better respond to business demands (67%) and more quickly resolve problems (57%).

You can read the full report here (pdf).

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