UK hybrid IT organisations still challenged by security concerns

News by Danielle Correa

Unlike a few years back when it was limited to early adopters, cloud and hybrid IT are a reality for most organisations today. Organisations of all sizes are implementing cloud computing to better meet the demands of a modernised workforce.

SolarWinds has released a new report which explores the various ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating the cloud, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their companies and IT job roles.

The research, collected from 160 UK IT practitioners, managers and directors at public and private sector companies found that organisations in the UK are moving further into the cloud, with 92 percent reporting they have migrated critical applications and infrastructure over the past year. Globally, the research collected 868 total responses.

The report indicated that 58 percent of UK respondents said an IT skills gap was one of the five biggest challenges of the cloud and hybrid IT, while 59 percent said the existence of the cloud and hybrid IT had had somewhat of an impact on their careers.

Forty-five percent do not believe that IT pros entering the workforce now have the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments.

“No job is more affected by ongoing technology disruptions than the role of the IT professional, which is why we explore these dynamics year after year,” said Joe Kim, senior vice president and CTO at SolarWinds. “By creating this portrait of today's hybrid IT organisation, we get to the heart of the shifts occurring so we can better understand and cater to the unique needs of these unsung heroes of business. For today's IT professionals, it's absolutely critical not only to put the right solutions in place to best manage hybrid IT environments, but to prepare organisations – and themselves – for continued technology advancements, even as we move beyond cloud.”

IT professionals in the UK indicated applications (69 percent), storage (54 percent), databases (37 percent) and security (16 percent) have been migrated to the cloud over any other area. The top reasons for prioritising these areas for migration were greatest potential for return on investment/cost efficiency, availability and elastic scalability.

In the UK, security and compliance concerns (31 percent) were the top reason for bringing areas of IT infrastructure back on-premises, followed by technical challenges with actual migration (23 percent).

The top elements in IT professionals' hybrid IT strategies in the UK are server virtualisation (52 percent), private cloud (46 percent), IT outsourcing (33 percent) and security (32 percent).

Nearly three-fourths of IT pros (74 percent) said their organisations currently use up to three cloud provider environments, with the largest percentage using two or three.

By weighted rank, the number one challenge created by hybrid IT is lack of control/visibility into the performance of cloud-based infrastructure (including apps, database, security, storage, etc.) followed by increased infrastructure complexity and IT staff skills gap.

Patrick Hubbard, head geek at SolarWinds told SC Media UK: “An oft-cited reason for the failure of cloud – or at least the return of critical elements of it on-premises – is security. It's an unfortunate outcome and more than anything should be considered another indicator of the overall challenge of securing IT resources rather than a cloud-specific challenge. Security breaches, or even in the best case, security headaches are as old as IT because of a bad habit we never seem to move past: IT budget managers too often put security last on the priority list. The acceleration in attack and successful breach has brought longstanding underinvestment into sharp relief.

“Businesses with effective investment and production deployment of good security practices are finding that cloud may actually improve security because of its focus on automation and homogeneous infrastructure. Secure automation practices in off-premises infrastructure, work just as effectively in-house, and organisations with clear security goals and discipline in-house simply extend their expertise to security cloud workload and data. The question should not be, why are security concerns driving workloads back on-premises, but rather how can IT provide security for infrastructure wherever it may be?”


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