Hybrid IT organisations struggle with IT skills gap and security concerns

SolarWinds, a provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today revealed the findings of its hybrid IT report.

For 2017, SolarWinds’ annual state-of-the-industry study explored the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating the cloud, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organisations and IT job roles.

Overall, organisations in the United Kingdom (UK) are moving further into the cloud, with 92% of respondents reporting they have migrated critical applications and infrastructure over the past year.

However, more than half (58%) said an IT skills gap was one of the five biggest challenges of the cloud and hybrid IT, while 59% said the existence of the cloud and hybrid IT have had at least somewhat of an impact on their careers in terms of requiring them to acquire new skills.

>See also: How to get the board on board with hybrid I.T.

“No job is more affected by ongoing technology disruptions than the role of the IT professional, which is why we explore these dynamics year after year,” said Joe Kim, senior vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds.

“By creating this portrait of today’s hybrid IT organisation, we get to the heart of the shifts occurring so we can better understand and cater to the unique needs of these unsung heroes of business. For today’s IT professionals, it’s absolutely critical not only to put the right solutions in place to best manage hybrid IT environments, but to prepare organisations—and themselves—for continued technology advancements, even as we move beyond cloud.”

2017 key findings

The report tried to identify significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals.

Moving applications, storage, and databases further into the cloud

In the past 12 months, IT professionals have migrated applications (69%), storage (54%), and databases (37%) to the cloud more than any other areas of IT.

By weighted rank, the top three reasons for prioritising these areas of their IT environments for migration were greatest potential for ROI/cost efficiency, availability, and elastic scalability, respectively.

Experiencing the cost efficiencies of the cloud

Nearly all (92%) organisations have migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year, yet over two-thirds (68%) spend less than 40% of their annual IT budgets on cloud technology.
Nearly half (41%) of organisations spend 70% or more of their annual IT budgets on on-premises (traditional) applications and infrastructure.

>See also: The 5 phases of overcoming hybrid cloud data integration

Nearly three in five (59%) organisations have received either most or all expected cloud benefits (i.e., cost efficiency, availability, and scalability).

Cost efficiency is at times not enough to justify migration to the cloud: 22% migrated areas to the cloud that were ultimately brought back on-premises due mostly to security/compliance issues and poor performance.

Building and expanding cloud roles and skill-sets for IT professionals

More than half (59%) of IT professionals indicated that hybrid IT has required them to acquire new skills, while nine % said it has altered their career path.

Nearly half (46%) of organisations have already hired/reassigned IT personnel, or plan to do so, for the specific purpose of managing cloud technologies.

The top cloud-related skill IT professionals improved over the past 12 months was automation, with over a third (36%) of IT professionals focusing on it, followed by migration skills (31%) and vendor management (27%).

>See also: Hybrid cloud: what goes where?

58% said an IT staff skills gap was one of the five biggest hybrid IT challenges, while 47 % said increased workload/responsibilities.

Nearly half (45 %) do not believe that IT professionals entering the workforce now possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments.

Increasing in complexity and lacking visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure

Nearly three-fourths (74%) said their organisations currently use up to three cloud provider environments, with the largest %age using two to three; however, 4% uses 10 or more.

By weighted rank, the number one challenge created by hybrid IT is lack of control/visibility into the performance of cloud-based infrastructure, followed by increased infrastructure complexity.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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