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Harvard Business Review survey finds companies say yes to hybrid IT

Adopting a hybrid IT approach is a strategic imperative, according to a new Harvard Business Review survey. SMBs, in particular, cite significant improvements in business operations.

A recent Harvard Business Review survey on cloud and hybrid IT solutions found that hybrid IT is here to stay and that businesses need to invest not only in the underlying infrastructure, but also in the skills necessary to manage a complex hybrid environment.

Sponsored by cloud solutions provider Insight, the survey included more than 300 respondents, ranging from senior IT management and board-level executives to folks in the trenches. Here are the highlights:

Few SMBs rely primarily on public cloud 

Compared with enterprises, smaller companies are more likely to be considering a pure cloud alternative to traditional IT infrastructure. Yet only 18 percent of SMB survey respondents have adopted a primarily public-cloud approach.

Across all levels of business, only 13 percent of respondents said they rely primarily on the public cloud. More than 80 percent use either a mix of public and private cloud services or their own private cloud. Fully half of all respondents cited security concerns as the main reason they are careful about the cloud. Migration and operating costs are neck-and-neck with concerns over interoperability and customization. 

Turning to traditional IT, the biggest concern is length of time it takes to get things done, with 44 percent of respondents identifying that as the most significant limitation. About a third of traditional IT users expressed concern about business agility, time to market and innovation, as well as better user and customer experiences. 

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SMBs benefit from cloud and hybrid IT adoption

On a whole, the survey results are positive in terms of the benefits of cloud and hybrid IT adoption, with 40 to 50 percent of respondents saying that cloud and hybrid deployments have a positive impact on business operations. These impacts were more pronounced among SMB respondents. Compared with enterprise users, three times as many small businesses have seen time-to-market improvements, while twice as many reported improved revenue or profit.

When asked about what types of applications are being moved into the cloud or hybrid environment, email was the most common response by far. Email and collaborative communications are the most natural fit for a cloud environment. Hosted email solutions having been long accepted as a reasonable use of cloud or off-premises resources for more than a decade.

The survey found less than a 25 percent adoption rate for other software-as-a-service offerings, including sales force automation, customer relationship management, project management, and training.

Finally, the survey results highlight how important it is to optimize the many systems involved in delivering services from IT to the business side of the house, especially systems that impact end-user and customer experiences. More than 80 percent of respondents said they are dissatisfied with how IT services are integrated and expressed concern about where tools and resources are connected.

The bottom line: IT pros have always understood that their job is to enable business success. Often that means as invisible to the end user as possible. For that to happen, IT needs to exert significant control over all business technology assets, regardless of where they reside. In an era in which IT needs quick reflexes and the ability to innovate on demand, hybrid solutions maximize flexibility, enabling services and resources to be delivered when and where they are needed.

Read the full report: "Adopting Hybrid Cloud Becomes a Strategic Imperative"

Related links: 

Forrester report: Hybrid IT strategy insights - Composable infrastructure and business breakthroughs

Delivering Real-Time Business Insights with Hybrid IT

HPE Teams with Wipro To Deliver Consumption Based IT

From public cloud to hybrid IT – Straight from the horse’s mouth

This article/content was written by the individual writer identified and does not necessarily reflect the view of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.