This article is part of our Essential Guide: Essential guide to cloud management

Hybrid cloud two to five years off hitting mainstream adoption, claims Gartner

Hybrid IT approach is still some way off reaching mainstream levels of enterprise adoption, according to market watcher Gartner

The hybrid cloud computing model is still “two to five” years away from achieving mainstream adoption, according to Gartner, with just 15% of enterprises currently using it.

The market watcher’s latest Hype Cycle report into emerging technologies suggests hybrid cloud is presently in the “trough of disillusionment” phase of adoption, whereby interest in technology tends to wane as the result of failed experiments and implementations.

At present, it predicts between 10% and 15% of enterprises have adopted a hybrid IT strategy, in which they have employed a mix of on-premise, private and public cloud services.

The report also said that in the mid-market, hybrid cloud adoption stands at less than 10%.

“While most companies will use some form of hybrid cloud computing during the next three years, more advanced approaches lack maturity and suffer from significant setup and operational complexity,” it stated.

“Positioning on the Hype Cycle [Gartner's research methodology for interpreting technology hype] advances towards the trough of disillusionment as organisations continue to gain experience in designing cloud-native and optimised services, and seek to optimise their spending across on-premise and off-premise cloud services.”

Entering the so-called trough of disillusionment tends to occur after a technology has been lauded as the next big thing, even if its commercial viability is unproven, and has garnered a mix of early failure and success stories.

Other technologies currently languishing in this stage of the Gartner Hype Cycle include self-driving cars, augmented reality tools and cryptocurrency exchanges.

In the case of hybrid cloud, the fact it is pegged as up to five years away from achieving mainstream adoption may come as a surprise to some, given that it is repeatedly being talked up by the likes of VMware, Microsoft and HP as the preferred way for enterprises to consume IT.

However, Andy Soanes, chief technology officer of IT consultancy firm Bell Integration, said he’s unsurprised by Gartner’s placing of the technology, as enterprises are still trying to find a way to make the hybrid model work for them.

“Finding the sweet spot – where the business is gaining the maximum benefit from a perfect balance of on-premise IT, private cloud and public cloud services – can be extremely difficult,” he said.

“On the other hand, IT should be wary of excessive caution by keeping applications in-house when it no longer benefits the business to do so. Losing control of an application, or putting the organisation at risk or failing compliance, is an understandable worry,” he added.

Read more about hybrid cloud

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)