SolarWinds: Hybrid IT Complexity, Challenges Create Opportunities for MSPs

Cloud data center

Organizations across North America are moving further into the cloud, while hybrid IT is increasing the complexity of IT roles, and introducing challenges such as a lack of visibility between on-premises and cloud infrastructure.

That’s according to SolarWinds’ IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization. It’s based on a survey with responses from 205 IT practitioners, managers and directors in the United States and Canada, from public and private sector small, midsize and enterprise companies whose organizations are using cloud-based services for at least some IT infrastructure.

SolarWinds IT's Kong YangKong Yang, SolarWinds’ head geek, tells Channel Partners that because cloud services and hybrid IT introduce greater complexity and technology abstraction, IT professionals are “tasked with devising methods to monitor and manage this infrastructure in order to integrate and deliver the quality of service (QoS) end users expect.”

“With that in mind, the survey found that nearly a quarter (24 percent) of organizations actually outsource their hybrid infrastructure to MSPs,” he said. “This practice was most common among larger enterprises, with 28 percent of enterprises outsourcing their hybrid infrastructure.”

Overall, organizations in North America are moving further into the cloud, with 95 percent reporting they have migrated critical applications and infrastructure over the past year. IT professionals surveyed reported that in the past year, their organizations have migrated applications (74 percent), storage (50 percent), and databases (35 percent) to the cloud more than any other area of IT.{ad}

Nearly three in five (59 percent) report their organizations have received either most or all expected benefits, such as cost efficiency, availability or scalability, from cloud technologies; however, cost efficiency is at times not enough to justify migration to the cloud, as 35 percent migrated areas to the cloud that were ultimately brought back on-premises due mostly to security/compliance issues and poor performance.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Sixty-two percent of respondents indicated that the existence of the cloud and hybrid IT have had at least somewhat of an impact on their careers, requiring them to acquire new skills, but not altered their career path, while 11 percent said the cloud and hybrid IT have had a “tremendous” impact on their careers, altering their career path.
  • Sixty-nine percent said their organizations currently use up to three cloud-provider environments, with the largest percentage using two to three; however, one out of every 10 uses 10 or more.

“Hybrid IT deployments vary from one organization to another,” Yang said. “Every organization’s IT environment is unique, which provides ample opportunity to realize innovation by taking advantage of the velocity, variety and volume of new services available. For organizations tailoring services to meet business needs through continuous integration and continuous delivery, this is a critical step to take for success. In addition, it’s incumbent upon organizations who have not built a road map for the cloud to do so.

“For next steps, specifically,” he continued: “IT professionals should build a road map for future proof-of-concepts and integration that will help illustrate return on investment and value-added benefits, or the lack thereof, for business management. This includes an understanding of how to get visibility of the entire distributed stack with hybrid IT monitoring tools, building processes for integration, delivery and quality/reliability testing of applications, and learning economic and capacity planning models.”

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