Nutanix, a leader in private cloud, hybrid, and multicloud computing has released an analysis of its third global Enterprise Cloud Index survey and research report, showing how companies in the UAE compare with the rest of the world when it comes to hybrid cloud adoption. This year, survey respondents were also asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on current and future IT decisions and strategy. A key finding: hybrid cloud is still the frontrunner as the ideal IT infrastructure model (83% of respondents in the UAE think so, which is close to the global figure of 86%), and respondents running hybrid environments are more likely to plan to focus on strategic efforts and driving positive business impact.
The UAE is right in line with global averages for hybrid cloud adoption (just 10% penetration). However, they’re ahead of the game in their adoption of private cloud and multiple public cloud infrastructure services; the private and public clouds will eventually be integrated into the highly desirable hybrid cloud model.
- Respondents in the UAE currently run more private clouds (35%) than any other IT infrastructure model. Those from the UAE tied with Australia and Italy for having the largest penetration of private cloud of all ECI companies polled worldwide. Private cloud is a component of the emerging, highly flexible hybrid cloud model, which 83% of respondents in the UAE agreeing is the ideal IT operating model going forward. UAE appears to have done a reasonable job of paring down their use of legacy datacenter-only environments, reporting below-average penetration of 15% while the country is right in line with averages for hybrid cloud adoption (just 10% penetration).
- Over the next five years, respondents in the UAE plan to reduce all IT models in use except for hybrid cloud, which they expect to grow significantly. Hybrid cloud/ multi-cloud will account for 45% of new deployments in the same time frame.
- Security, privacy, and compliance strengths together represent the number one decision factor when considering new IT deployments. This was agreed by 26% of UAE respondents. Cost advantages ranked a distant second (13%); from there, respondents from the UAE were highly divided in their selections of the top IT deployment decision factor. More respondents from the UAE did report having to abide by executive-level mandates as their top criterion (9%) than average (2%).
- UAE IT pros are migrating to a hybrid cloud environment for better business outcomes, not just to save cost. UAE respondents cited better control of IT resource usage (65%), increased speed to deliver business needs (61%), and better support for remote working (61%) as their top motivators.
- Management tools that work across dissimilar cloud platforms are still maturing, and IT shops seek cross-platform cloud talent that’s currently challenging to find. More than a third of respondents from the UAE (35%) reported being short on the IT skills necessary to manage hybrid cloud environments, and over a fourth (29%) said they lacked skills in cloud-native and container technology, such as Kubernetes.
- The top reason that UAE respondents moved applications to a new environment involved concerns over security in the public cloud infrastructure (65%). The second most-often cited reason was to improve the speed of access to data (60%), a nod to the generally faster application response times of high-speed local-area networks compared to delay-sensitive wide-area networks used to reach the public cloud. In addition, significantly more respondents in the UAE than elsewhere cited having greater availability of IT skill sets on-prem (46%) as a reason to repatriate applications back to private datacenters. They also were far more bullish about avoiding vendor lock-in as a reason to keep apps on-prem.
- When asked where they plan to run applications in the new year 2021, respondents from the UAE were most optimistic about their intentions to host more applications in the private cloud (43%), surpassing the averages, while fewer than average said they’re likely to run more apps in a public cloud infrastructure. Slightly more than average said they intended to host more applications in on-premises datacenters (17%).
- The majority of UAE respondents (83%) said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused IT to be viewed more strategically within their organizations. The pandemic has in many cases forced IT shops to turn to the cloud for readily available infrastructure that can accommodate larger numbers of work-from-home employees. Indeed, while more than a fourth of respondents from the UAE (28%) reported having no regular remote workforce one year ago, that number has plummeted to 4% since the rise of the pandemic.
- The COVID-19 pandemic generally drove new investments in cloud infrastructure and tools. 47% of UAE respondents reported making new investments in hybrid cloud and private cloud (41%), while 33% reported increased investments in public cloud infrastructure services because of the pandemic. Far fewer respondents from the UAE reported making no new infrastructure investments because of the pandemic (1%) than in other regions.
“It is a great sign that companies in the UAE have a healthy adoption of private cloud and multiple public cloud infrastructures. Both these components are a necessary step on the journey to a dominant hybrid cloud environment, as enterprises gain the right mix of management tools and skill sets to handle the job,” said Aaron White, Sr. Sales Director, METI at Nutanix. “The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced IT priorities. It moved many businesses’ IT focus from planned initiatives to remote infrastructure build outs to support home workers. However, in doing so, it has boosted cloud use, spurring the growth of underlying cloud infrastructure that’s essential to hybrid cloud plans and, more broadly, to corporate digital transformation initiatives.”