Most enterprises know they need to embrace the digital age and transform their business processes accordingly; however the path to get them there isn’t always as clear. For many, a hybrid cloud approach is the key to accelerating this transition by allowing customers to embrace the speed and agility of cloud while still maintaining compliance around security, cost and performance.

There are plenty of recent studies in the industry that support this growing trend, but two in particular caught my attention – one from IDG Research and the other from IBM. These surveys demonstrate that not only is the hybrid cloud market growing, but also that businesses are realizing true benefits specific to their digital transformation initiatives.

According to the survey by IDG Research on behalf of EMC, IT managers and CIOs claim that hybrid cloud makes implementing digital business initiatives a faster, easier and less expensive process. John Gallant, senior vice president and chief content officer of IDG Research Services believes that “hybrid cloud is the great enabler of digital business.”

Some of key findings of the survey backup this claim including:

  • 83% said they either currently use a hybrid cloud or plan to do so in the future
  • 96% said their hybrid cloud initiatives are delivering measurable results
  • 88% called hybrid cloud an important enabler of digital business
  • 73% agreed that hybrid cloud models create a path for digital business for their organization
  • On average, surveyed executives have reduced IT costs by 24 % percent with hybrid cloud

IBM’s global study of 500 hybrid cloud decision makers reveals that organizations are increasingly integrating cloud resources with traditional IT to accommodate dynamic needs and specific business priorities. In addition, 70% of them report they’ll always have a blend of traditional IT and cloud. The top four reasons cited for moving to the cloud include: 1) improving productivity; 2) improved security and risk reduction; 3) cost reduction; and 4) scalability.

Aside from these studies, recent acquisitions in the cloud computing market such as Cisco/CliQr, are also evidence of the growth of hybrid clouds. As this growth continues, so too does the need for better management and automation tools.  A lot of the big cloud providers are filling this gap by acquiring smaller providers, and while this is a great strategy for them, it can lead to vendor lock-in.

As enterprises move increasingly to a hybrid cloud approach to digital transformation, they should look for independent, third party solutions that can automate and manage their environments independent of cloud service provider’s native tools that only work within that particular cloud environment. This will allow them the flexibility to change cloud providers as needed without having the hassle of moving all of their workloads to another system.

For more information on the move to hybrid cloud and how to avoid vendor lock-in, check out these blogs:

The Future of Hybrid Cloud Management: Q&A with Red Hat’s Joe Fitzgerald

How Your Cloud Sprawl Can Lead to Vendor Lock-in

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