Organisations across various industries are looking to make sense of and optimise their hybrid IT environments. Overburdened data centres and increased demand from users are driving enterprises increasingly to the cloud. Already, most organisations are working with multiple clouds, both public and private, for their applications and workloads.

IT and business leaders are stepping up their efforts to find the optimal workload placement in an evolving hybrid IT environment. The trend is moving away from technology integration and towards services integration. The challenge is to ensure that their existing hybrid environment works for the business and moves at the required speed.

What's clear is that hybrid IT is a reality today – it's not a future state – and it presents what can be a confusing amount of choices and approaches around on-premises private cloud and the hyperconvergence technologies that deliver speed and a cloud-like experience this environment, as well as cloud offered by the hyperscale providers. You have to identify what mix of deployment models suits that particular organisation's requirements.

Then there's the challenge associated with managing multiple clouds and deciding which workloads belong where. The goal is to get applications and workloads to serve people across a heterogeneous environment. Clients need to understand their data and where this valuable asset should be placed. Then there's the issue of governance and data sovereignty as well as security and compliance concerns that have to be dealt with.

Given the highly dynamic nature of hybrid IT, there are no hard and fast rules around deployment and decisions have to be equally dynamic based on individual application profiles and requirements.

Challenges in the cloud

Cloud management is reported as one of the top three challenges in cloud deployment, and organisations use a variety of commercial and open source tools (e.g., performance management, automated resource balancing, DevOps) to deploy and manage a multi-cloud environment.

Data migration is also a top challenge in cloud deployment, and nearly a quarter of respondents find application migration to be a manual, time-consuming process.

Managed services have become a key component of service delivery across a range of infrastructure and application products. Service providers that can offer a comprehensive portfolio of managed services across the broadest set of infrastructure options are best positioned to meet the full set of enterprise cloud requirements.

Choosing a cloud service provider

When deciding on a service provider for your cloud, consider the following:
* Security capabilities.
* Compliance with data security/privacy regulations.
* Technical expertise.
* Overall performance (with guaranteed service level agreements).

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