On Monday, research firm Technology Business Research (TBR) named IBM a leader in both hybrid cloud environments and private cloud adoption in its semi-annual Cloud Customer Research survey. The survey included responses from 1,800 enterprises around the world.

According to an IBM press release, TBR cited elements such as “large enterprise customer base” and “brand reputation” as part of the decision for placing IBM at no. 1 in hybrid cloud. For private cloud adoption, a large cloud portfolio and “expertise in cloud migration” were mentioned.

Of course, private cloud and hybrid cloud go hand-in-hand, as a strong private cloud presence usually lends itself to solid hybrid cloud environments.

“A footprint in legacy IT solutions and management is a strong predictor of private cloud vendor success, as private cloud solutions are typically the first step toward hybrid IT environments,” said TBR Cloud Senior Analyst Cassandra Mooshian. “Private clouds appeal to enterprises looking to extend their legacy infrastructure and applications to the cloud while helping to optimize past investments.”

SEE: Hybrid financing for hybrid cloud: Flexibility and budget relief (Tech Pro Research)

Hybrid cloud, or the combination of public cloud services and private cloud infrastructure, has seen growing adoption in the enterprise for its flexibility and ability to handle variable workloads. Tech research firm Gartner predicted that, by 2020, hybrid cloud will be the most common use of the cloud.

“Hybrid integration is the next stage in cloud adoption and will be the end state for many enterprise IT environments,” said Kelsey Mason, Cloud Analyst at TBR. “Enterprise hybrid adoption now matches that of public adoption a year ago, signaling a new wave of maturity in customers’ cloud strategies.”

With this growth, it makes sense that IBM is strongly pursuing private and hybrid cloud. However, that might not immediately translate to massive amounts of additional money, as Rightscale’s recent State of the Cloud survey points out that public cloud is still crushing private cloud in terms of adoption and revenue.

But, hybrid deployments still need public cloud in order to be successful, and IBM seems to be addressing that need as well. In June, the company announced a cloud brokering service called cloudMatrix, which acts as a gateway to IBM’s own services, as well as those from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

The cloud, in all its iterations, is an important focus for IBM moving forward. As the company seeks to continue operating as a systems integrator, it is critical that it handles a cloud transition with care to avoid meeting the same fate as other legacy providers who were put to rest by the cloud.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. IBM was recently announced the no. 1 company in hybrid cloud environments and private cloud adoption in TBR’s Cloud Customer Research survey.
  2. To remain competitive, it is important that companies like IBM take advantage of hybrid cloud growth in the enterprise with new offerings and integrations.
  3. A pivot to the cloud is the right move for IBM, and one that could keep the company strong were other legacy providers have failed.