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IT leaders are finding the right balance between on-premise and cloud

A survey of 706 IT leaders conducted by Red Hat for its 2024 Global tech trends report has found that many organisations have figured out the mix between public and private cloud infrastructure.

Compared with the previous year’s data, workload migration management saw a nine-point drop to near the bottom of the IT management funding priorities list. According to Red Hat, this is likely to reflect that many organisations have settled on where their applications can most effectively run.

“Neither widespread repatriation from public clouds nor the wholesale shutting down of datacentres for existing workloads is the norm,” Red Hat said in the report.

In EMEA, the study reported that 10% of IT leaders said they run the applications they manage themselves on public cloud infrastructure, 40% said they use a hybrid approach, while 47% said they run their applications on on-premise IT infrastructure.

Looking at the reasons for choosing to run on one type of infrastructure over another, Red Hat said that with on-premise deployments, the main driving forces were around data such as data sovereignty, data privacy and overall data security.

The study found that cost benefits were cited by more than a quarter of the IT leaders who said they ran applications on-premise. However, a slightly higher number of IT managers said cost benefits were the main reason for using public cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Red Hat found that those using hybrid clouds prioritised IT agility. The study reported that 41% of the IT leaders surveyed said agility was one of their main reasons for choosing a hybrid approach to application deployment. Conversely, only 17% of on-premise-only users cited agility.

Looking at application development across all regions, 41% of IT leaders said modernisation is their main application development priority. Red Hat noted that one of the surprises from the survey data is that creating artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) applications and secure coding practices/tools were fairly far down the list in all geographies.

“Today’s funding priorities do not always reflect the weight a company places on some categories, but secure coding practices/tools nonetheless reflects a multipoint drop in this category from the prior year which was, in turn, a multipoint drop from the year before that,” Red Hat said.

The study also reported that barriers to digital transformation success have remained relatively consistent over the past couple of years. Manual processes or IT operations, technical debt and skillset or talent gaps remain the top areas hindering IT leaders’ digital transformation initiatives. However, the study found that manual processes were more often cited as a barrier in the Americas and less frequently in EMEA.

Red Hat said: “With automation being such a prominent topic across many areas of IT, it’s no shock that companies are beginning to automate in many areas, with security automation, cloud services automation, and service delivery automation at the front of line when it comes to funding.”

Looking at allocation of IT budgets, Red Hat’s study reported that the funding priorities for IT managers in EMEA is cloud management (62%), datacentre consolidation (35%) and optimising cloud spending (32%).

When asked about the desired outcomes for their funding priorities, Red Hat found that the IT leaders surveyed wanted to make their organisation more secure and efficient. Almost half (43%) of EMEA IT managers said they are investing to obtain better security and data protection. Another four in 10 (42%) said they hope to achieve improved efficiencies.

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