Digital solutions such as artifical intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-learning are driving revenue growth, however strategic uncertainty around cloud infrastructure is preventing businesses from truly becoming digital, according to a new global survey.
Although there is now a momentum behind public cloud, businesses still seem to be unsure of which workloads should be split across private clouds – i.e. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) – and on-premise. The survey collated responses from more than 9,000 companies across 24 countries.
On average, businesses are running 41% of applications with traditional on-premises IT – higher than both public cloud (26%) and private cloud (24%). Whereas, public cloud is poised to grow in the next 18-24 months; almost two-thirds (61%) said their use will increase over the time period.
A combined 87% of respondents see their use of either private cloud (52%) or traditional on-premises (35%) accelerating. Despite strong indications of public cloud growth, a significant number of companies that ran workloads in public cloud environments have moved some or all those workloads back on-premises – 43% of businesses in North America have done so, for example.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 65% say they have reduced use of public cloud in the past 12 months because of security concerns.
Businesses currently run approximately one in five applications via SaaS (22%) and more than half (51%) said their use of SaaS would rise over the next 18-24 months. In the UK, three-quarters of companies (76%) say Brexit has significantly impacted their ability to plan and invest in technology innovation.
The research also reveals that digital does not necessarily equate to cloud adoption, with more digitally focused organisations using on-premise to a similar extent as their less digitally focused counterparts. Workloads appear to be highly varied and fragmented across different environments suggesting organisations still lack confidence in what to put where.
Compliance and regulatory uncertainty is likely to be felt globally as the UK, and potentially other countries seek to leave the EU, and recent changes in political administration in the US, adjust the regulatory requirements for organisations.
Organisations, and IT leaders specifically, are dealing with high levels of ambiguity which make technology planning very difficult. This is expected to foster a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to IT investment which could be counterproductive in the drive for innovation.