Hand showing laptop computer with cloud.
Image: Adobe Stock

Today’s IT leaders are increasingly relying on the hybrid cloud—which merges public cloud provider services like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform with private hardware—for its ability to bolster security and agility at the workplace. In the age of COVID-19, with the transition from the physical office to remote or hybrid work models, the hybrid cloud has played an even more critical role, as organizations prioritize flexibility, becoming today’s de-facto model for businesses.

On May 25, Cisco released its 2022 Global Hybrid Cloud Trends Report, which illustrated the progress organizations have made toward implementing the cloud. Based on a survey conducted by 451 Research, the report includes the opinions of 2,500 IT leaders from 13 countries, specializing in cloud computing, DevOps and enterprising networks, across the globe on their experience deploying the hybrid cloud in the workplace. According to the survey, the hybrid cloud is the combination of at least two clouds “that are centrally managed for interoperability, and can include on-premises private, hosted private, or public/IaaS cloud.”

SEE: Quick glossary: Hybrid cloud (TechRepublic Premium)

4 key takeaways on the future of hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud is more popular than ever

According to the new report, a whopping 82% of IT leaders say that they have adopted the hybrid cloud. Additionally, nearly half (47%), are deploying between two to three public IaaS (infrastructure as a service) clouds. A mere 8% of organizations are only using a single public IaaS cloud provider.

Security remains a concern

Among IT professionals, more than a third (37%) consider security as a primary challenge in the deployment of multiple clouds.

Collaboration is key

It is essential for networking, cloud operations and DevOps teams to talk to each other, in order for the hybrid cloud model to become successful for organizations. More than half of survey respondents (55%) have already instituted teams that can bring a cross-organizational perspective to the table, joining business and technical teams. And half of respondents have organized a central CloudOps and NetOps function to “help ensure their organization’s hybrid cloud strategy meets business objectives,” according to the survey. Regardless, most respondents view cross-department collaboration as a priority, which can yield benefits such as increased cloud security (45%)—which, as stated earlier, is a primary concern for IT leaders. Nearly half (41%) also see operational efficiency as a positive result of collaboration, and 39% of respondents believe collaboration can improve application performance.

SEE: Executive’s guide to integrating the hybrid cloud (free ebook) (TechRepublic)

Developers eager to move to the cloud

Adopting hybrid-infrastructures is a big priority for developers, since it can help “strike a middle ground between existing and new applications,” according to IT leaders. In fact, more than half of respondents (53%) say that they are switching workloads every week between on and off-premises. The report also states: “58% are adopting Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and 44% cloud-native technologies to improve their security posture and 47% of CloudOps and DevOps respondents say that a “cloud first” mandate is the tipping point for changing development processes and tools.”

Other findings from the new report reveal that operational complexity is a challenge for 35% of respondents. And more than half (57%) of those in networking roles think that DevOps is a critical piece of deploying the hybrid cloud strategy.

SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players (TechRepublic)

These findings reinforce previous trends. In 2021, more than 60% of organizations were using or piloting the hybrid cloud, and more than 30% were planning to, according to TechRepublic’s previous reporting.

The hybrid cloud, which can be used for organizations with variable workloads, offers a way to safeguard data against loss, and all signs point to the adoption becoming a mainstream solution for companies’ digital transformation strategy.