Nutanix, a hybrid multicloud computing provider, has announced the findings of its fifth annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey showing the UK is leading a charge towards embracing multiple IT infrastructures. And this trend is predicted to intensify moving forward despite concerns around data visibility and management across environments which, as the survey found, are still largely to be addressed.
“The results of the latest ECI survey are significant because, as a major commercial centre, the UK has long been at the forefront when leveraging new technologies and ways of working,” says Rowen Grierson, senior director and general manager for the UK and Ireland at Nutanix. “Likewise, when it comes to identifying the challenges with, in this year’s survey, clear evidence of the need for a consistent cloud operating model to enable customers to get the best from the mixed IT environments they are building.”
For the fifth consecutive year, Vanson Bourne conducted research on behalf of Nutanix, surveying 1,450 IT decision-makers worldwide in December 2022 and January 2023. The respondent base spanned multiple industries, business sizes, and geographies: the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) region.
In 2018, well over half of respondents said they envisioned running all workloads exclusively in a private or public cloud one day. However, respondents' attitudes have drastically shifted toward using multiple IT environments since then. So, rather than working to consolidate on a particular infrastructure or operating model - as seemed desirable in 2018 - most enterprises now see the inevitability and benefits of running workloads across clouds, on-premises and at the edge.
The goal now is to make the mixed model more efficient, especially when managing IT environments across the edge to the core. Greater diversity leads to increased complexity, with nearly all respondents saying they would benefit from having a single, unified control plane to manage applications and data across increasingly diverse IT environments.
Several key findings from this year’s report include most organisations using more than one type of IT infrastructure. However, nearly all agree that having a single platform to manage them together and consistently would be ideal.
UK companies lead in using mixed IT infrastructure, with 73% reporting the use of multiple IT environments, compared to a 60% global average. In the UK, that figure is expected to rise to 86% in one to three years (74% globally).
Data security and management considerations drive IT infrastructure choices. Data drives infrastructure decisions for enterprises, with data security, protection and recovery, and sovereignty topping the list of key drivers. However, visibility is a growing challenge, and while 94% of respondents agree that having complete visibility is important, only 40% reported having complete visibility into where their data resides.
Cloud cost control ranks as a top IT management challenge. Among respondents, 85% consider cloud cost a challenging IT management issue, with more than a third (34%) ranking it "significant". More specifically, application migration across clouds is currently a pain point for organisations, with 86% of respondents agreeing that moving applications between environments can be complex and costly. Additionally, nearly half of the respondents (46%) plan to repatriate some applications to on-premise data centres to mitigate cloud costs in the year ahead.
Nearly all companies developing their applications have begun using open-source Kubernetes orchestration (96%). Those respondents cite designing and configuring underlying infrastructure, storage, and database services as key challenges of those deployments.
Finally, sustainability has become a much more pressing priority, with nearly all respondents (92%) agreeing that sustainability is more important to their organisation than a year ago. A shift in priorities driven primarily by corporate Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives (63%), supply chain disruptions (59%), and customer purchasing decisions (48%).