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Channel must be able to support cloud repatriation shift

Citrix shines a light on a growing trend as strategies are reconsidered in the face of security and cost concerns

The channel’s ability to deliver a wide menu of cloud options has again been highlighted as a strength, with many customers looking to take data back on-premise.

Research from Citrix has uncovered a sizeable shift by users to change their strategies and follow a pattern of cloud repatriation.

The study found a quarter of UK firms had already moved half of their cloud-based data back on-premise, or were looking at doing so. A significant number (93%) of IT leaders quizzed by the firm indicated they had been involved with a cloud repatriation project in the past three years.

Factors driving cloud repatriation include security concerns and a failure to meet expectations, particularly internally, of moving to the cloud.

Other issues causing users to reconsider their plans included coping with unexpected costs, performance issues, compatibility problems and service downtime.

Some customers had been left wondering if the cost-benefit analysis of cloud warranted migrating away from on-premise infrastructure.

Those taking the hybrid approach were best placed to help customers find the right balance and make sure costs and security concerns were dealt with by choosing the right home for data.

“Hybrid cloud infrastructures offer the best of both worlds across both public and private models. Organisations can optimise costs, seamlessly integrate systems, and experiment with innovation projects without compromising on agility or flexibility,” said Calvin Hsu, vice-president of product management at Citrix.

The channel will need to be guided by customers that are still keen to use the cloud but also want to make sure it works, with Citrix hearing more using the phrase “mostly cloud and some on-premises” to describe the mix they are looking for.

“It’s clear that IT leaders are still trying to find the right balance between cloud and on-premises,” Hsu added. “With evolving demands and unexpected changes to priorities, enterprises need a model that allows them to scale resources up or down as required while maintaining security, compliance and business performance.”

Citrix pointed out that customers were capable of becoming victims of a security attack regardless of whether the data was in the cloud or on-premise, and more efforts were needed to shore up defences.

The firm’s survey found a third of respondents had been victims of the same number of attacks, regardless of whether the data was in the cloud, on-premise or in a hybrid environment.

Even going through the process of cloud repatriation poses a risk, so customers indicated they were looking to make that transition as secure as possible.

The clear winner was the hybrid approach, with Citrix finding that 35% of the IT leaders it quizzed currently had projects in both cloud and on-premise.

Others in the channel have also noted that cloud repatriation will be a significant opportunity for the channel this year, and that area of activity will be boosted by the adoption of more artificial intelligence (AI) tools that encourage users to map their information.

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