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SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization Finds North American IT Professionals Realizing Cost Benefits of Cloud, Challenged by Shifting Job Dynamics

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SolarWinds, a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today revealed the findings of its SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization. For 2017, SolarWinds' annual state-of-the-industry study explores the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating the cloud, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organizations and IT job roles.

Overall, organizations in North America are moving further into the cloud, with 95 percent reporting they have migrated critical applications and infrastructure over the past year. However, while nearly 60 percent said they have experienced the expected benefits of the cloud, hybrid IT is increasing the complexity of IT roles, and introducing challenges such as a lack of visibility between on-premises and cloud infrastructure, as well as the need to develop new skillsets to keep pace with changing 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 chief technology officer, SolarWinds. "By creating this portrait of today's public sector hybrid IT organization, we get to the heart of the shifts  occurring so we can better understand and cater to the unique needs of these government agencies. 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 organizations-and themselves-for continued technology advancements, even as we move beyond cloud."

2017 Key Findings

The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals. Key findings show that today's hybrid IT organizations are:

  1. Moving applications, storage, and databases further into the cloud.
    • In the past 12 months, IT professionals have migrated applications (74 percent), storage (50 percent), and databases (35 percent) to the cloud more than any other areas of IT.
    • By weighted rank, the top three reasons for prioritizing these areas of their IT environments for migration were greatest potential for ROI/cost efficiency, availability, and elastic scalability, respectively.
  2. Experiencing the cost efficiencies of the cloud.
    • Nearly all (95 percent) organizations have migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year, yet over two-thirds (69 percent) spend less than 40 percent of their annual IT budgets on cloud technology.
    • Nearly half (45 percent) of organizations spend 70 percent or more of their annual IT budgets on on-premises (traditional) applications and infrastructure.
    • Nearly three in five (59 percent) organizations have received either most or all expected cloud benefits (i.e., cost efficiency, availability, and scalability).
    • Cost efficiency is at times not enough to justify migration to the cloud: 35 percent migrated areas to the cloud that were ultimately brought back on-premises due mostly to security/compliance issues and poor performance.
  3. Building and expanding cloud roles and skillsets for IT professionals.
    • Over three-fifths (62 percent) of IT professionals indicated that hybrid IT has required them to acquire new skills, while 11 percent said it has altered their career path.
    • Nearly three-fifths (57 percent) of organizations have already hired/reassigned IT personnel, or plan to do so, for the specific purpose of managing cloud technologies.
    • The top cloud-related skill IT professionals improved over the past 12 months was monitoring/management tools and metrics (38 percent).
    • Sixty-three percent said an IT staff skills gap was one of the five biggest hybrid IT challenges, while 46 percent said increased workload/responsibilities.
    • Nearly half (46 percent) do not believe that IT professionals entering the workforce now possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments.
  4. Increasing in complexity and lacking visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure.
    • Seven out of ten (69 percent) said their organizations currently use up to three cloud provider environments, with the largest percentage using two to three; however, one out of every 10 (9 percent) uses 10 or more.
    • By weighted rank, the number one challenge created by hybrid IT is increased infrastructure complexity, followed by lack of control/visibility into the performance of cloud-based applications and infrastructure.

To explore and interact with all of the 2017 findings, please visit the SolarWinds IT Trends Index, a dynamic web experience that presents the study's findings by region, including charts, graphs, socially shareable elements, and additional insights into the data.

Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017 10:09 AM by David Marshall
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