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Businesses move key applications off public cloud to save costs

A new study has shown that while many enterprises are able to keep public cloud costs under control, spending can quickly escalate

Many organisations are migrating applications back from the public cloud to on-premise datacentres, a study from Vanson Bourne for Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud Index 2019 report has found.

According to the survey of 2,650 IT decision-makers, almost three-quarters (73%) reported that they are moving some applications off the public cloud and back on-premise, and almost one in five (22%) of those users are moving five or more applications. 

The IT decision-makers who said they were migrating applications back on-premise from the public cloud cited fairly large increases in traditional datacentre use. Applications returning to on-premise datacentres include desktop and application virtualisation; customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP); data analytics and business intelligence (BI); databases; development and testing; and data backup and recovery.

Nutanix said the migration from public to on-premise systems underlines the need within enterprises for hybrid cloud’s flexibility in allowing them to adapt their infrastructures based on a number of variables – including cost, performance and security/compliance – that can change over time.

Some 85% of the IT decision-makers surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “Hybrid cloud is the ideal IT model for my organisation.” Among the reasons given were having the flexibility to match the right cloud to each application and use case (cited by 62% as a primary benefit of hybrid cloud) and perceived high levels of security associated with the hybrid model.

Wendy Pfeiffer, CIO of Nutanix, said: “As organisations continue to grapple with complex digital transformation initiatives, flexibility and security are critical components to enable seamless and reliable cloud adoption. The enterprise has progressed in its understanding and adoption of hybrid cloud, but there is still work to do when it comes to reaping all of its benefits.

“In the next few years, we will see businesses rethinking how to best utilise hybrid cloud, including hiring for hybrid computing skills and reskilling IT teams to keep up with emerging technologies.”

Read more about public cloud budgeting

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While 49% of the IT decision-makers said they had managed to keep their public cloud budgets under control, 29% admitted they had gone “slightly over budget”, and 6% said they were “greatly over budget” in terms of public cloud spending.

In the Enterprise Cloud Index 2019 report, Brad Meyer, systems administrator at Middle Tennessee State University, said: “Public cloud seems most the cost-effective for DevOps and testing. But the biggest problem there is that developers might spin up a cloud server, then abandon it and leave it up, and it remains a hidden cost.”

Ashish Nadkarni, group vice-president of infrastructure systems, platforms and technologies at IDC, said: “Cloud computing has become an integral part of business strategy, but it has introduced several challenges along with it. Hybrid cloud will continue to be the best option for enterprises, enabling them to securely meet modernisation and agility requirements for workloads.”

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