Survey Results – European Hybrid Clouds and Data Strategies

  • Nutanix and Veeam commissioned Vanson Bourne to undertake a research study on the areas of hybrid cloud, migrating to hybrid-converged architecture, and changing data protection requirements in Europe.
  • Around a fifth of senior IT decision makers report that cloud (22%) or business intelligence solutions (19%) are the areas of IT that will receive the largest overall investment by the end of 2019.
  • The most likely (44%) business initiative driving IT spend is improving cybersecurity.

Data drives enterprise organization

If it is unavailable, then the entire business feels the impact, making data protection and recovery critical to the business. The amount of data being stored is growing at an exponential rate, all the while organizations need to ensure that they manage, protect and provide data availability 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. To become more cost effective, secure and agile, organizations are moving away from the classic on-premises infrastructure and are moving toward a cloud-based environment. Organizations may intend to use public cloud or private cloud, but why not a combination of both or multi-cloud? Enterprise cloud solutions offer the benefits of each type of cloud and allow flexibility over deployment models, while retaining control and visibility.

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is a software-defined IT infrastructure that virtualizes all of the elements of conventional “hardware-defined” systems. HCI includes, at a minimum, virtualized computing (a hypervisor), a virtualised SAN (software-defined storage) and virtualized networking (software-defined networking). HCI typically runs on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers. The term was first used in this context by Scale Computing in 2012 when the term was coined by Arun Taneja to describe the Scale HC3 platform.

What does this shift to hybrid cloud mean for the data that organizations are protecting and storing? Are organizations adapting their backup and DR strategies to account for cloud and hybrid cloud scenarios? Despite the obvious importance of backup and recovery we know that data loss for enterprises continues to grow year over year at an alarming rate with the resulting downtime costing enterprises trillions in lost revenue and productivity. Near instant data recovery will need to be a top priority in IT strategy and be integrated alongside cloud, and any other technologies being utilized. But, how is this best achieved? Once a backup and recovery strategy is decided upon what role does data security and governance play in the decision making process?

Organizations may find themselves at a crossroad and their next steps can be critical to ensure their data is protected and data integrity is ensured. The resulting strategy will need to be agile as it adapts to changing workloads and environments determined by usage patterns and projects. A well thought out approach is needed and strong guidance, knowledge and the support of an expert partner or partners might be the best way to get to where you need to be.

Methodology

In September and October 2018, the quantitative study was carried out, interviewing 900 senior IT decision makers. Respondents are from the UK (100), France (100), Germany (100), the Nordics (100), Netherlands (100), Spain (100), Italy (100), Switzerland (100) and the Middle East (100).

Respondents are from organizations with 1,000 or more employees and could have been from any sector, but with a focus on healthcare, retail, financial services, manufacturing and public sector.

Interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate.

IT Investment

Technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, and organizations need to adapt to maintain their relevance.

As such, organizations must continue to invest in a range of technologies, solutions, and deployment models, but they can’t all be a top priority.

Cloud storage is a model of computer data storage in which the digital data is stored in logical pools. The physical storage spans multiple servers (sometimes in multiple locations), and the physical environment is typically owned and managed by a hosting company. These cloud storage providers are responsible for keeping the data available and accessible, and the physical environment protected and running. People and organizations buy or lease storage capacity from the providers to store user, organization, or application data.

Around a fifth of senior IT decision makers report that cloud (22%) or business intelligence solutions (19%) are the areas of IT that will receive the largest overall investment by the end of 2019, while 9% say that this is the case when it comes to hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). Around one in ten feel that backup and storage (11%) or data protection (8%) will receive the greatest level of investment. This highlights that there is a vast array of technologies that organizations could be investing in, with their own unique circumstances likely to dictate which technology is their priority.

Technology is often the remedy for challenges that organizations have been facing today and in the future. And when it comes to important IT issues, over half (52%) say that cybersecurity is the single most important issue for IT today. This makes it another key area that organizations should be looking to focus on and invest in, to make sure that this issue doesn’t cause organization-wide impacts.

Organizations need to have the right IT budget and investment planning in place in order to invest in technologies. Currently, the most likely (44%) business initiative driving IT spend is improving cybersecurity, which reiterates the scale of the issue that organizations face in this area.

Despite organizations becoming more willing to embrace new technology to address current IT challenges, they’re aware that the complexity of their infrastructure might increase alongside this. Over four in ten say that big data (44%) and/or cloud computing (42%) would increase the complexity of IT, especially in storage. But complexity doesn’t have to be an issue. This is where expert partners who can provide solutions that offer integration and simplicity come into their own. Making sure that the right partnerships are in place will massively help organizations on their investment journey.

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