Enterprises this year will make major improvements to their network connectivity to support hybrid IT, the flexible use of private and cloud-based IT resources, to improve operational performance.
That’s according to a study sponsored by Level 3 Communications and conducted by TechTarget. It’s based on responses from 150 technology professionals regarding how decision-makers are using and planning to use their networks more strategically and effectively under a hybrid IT framework.
Paul Savill, Level 3’s senior vice president of global core product management, tells Channel Partners that hybrid IT is “foundational to a successful digital transformation."
“To bolster their hybrid IT programs, enterprises need to leverage the new technologies available to upgrade their network infrastructure for greater security, flexibility and automation," he said. “Putting a hybrid IT framework in place is one thing; however, achieving it is another matter. Businesses need trusted partners to help them overcome the complexities of mix-and-match infrastructure, applications and architecture on-premises and in the cloud."
Hybrid IT is either very or somewhat familiar to most IT and networking audiences, with its primary benefits being agility (59 percent), alignment between IT and business goals (53 percent), application availability/performance (42 percent) and security (37 percent), according to the study.
Nearly half of survey respondents are using cloud services for tier-one workloads, a “strong indication that cloud computing is at the heart of many organizations’ digital transformation efforts," the study said.
Security, reliable uptime, bandwidth capabilities and low latency are the top features respondents look for in their enterprise networks when accessing cloud services.
“What we found most surprising is few enterprises admit to being highly satisfied with how their networks deliver on their most-cited network requirements: security, reliable uptime, bandwidth capabilities and low latency," Savill said. “In fact, Level 3 asked respondents to rate the importance of a variety of features as well as their satisfaction with service provider performance of those features, and found on average an 11 percent lower satisfaction rating than importance rating. The opportunity for providers and partners is to bridge that satisfaction gap."
Enterprises have not yet dramatically transformed their network connectivity for cloud and hybrid IT, but they do expect to make major upgrades during the coming 12 months, according to the study.