Over the past four years, Datacom has worked with Tech Research Asia (TRA) to conduct research in the Australian and New Zealand markets. Hundreds of in-depth interviews have been conducted with chief information officers and IT decision-makers, and, at the end of 2020, over 650 organisations were surveyed.

A few years ago, the market sentiment was all for cloud-first IT strategies where cloud-based technology solutions are selected before all others. Over 50 per cent of organisations said they had a cloud-first policy, and many were very quickly shifting workloads to a public cloud provider.

Today, the public cloud is still a key landing destination for a lot of organisations and there are still a lot of application workloads yet to move to a public cloud. However, there is a clear shift in strategy — one that now embraces hybrid IT. Eighty-three per cent say they are planning to run a mixed or hybrid cloud environment.

The latest research cements our long-held view that the workload-by-workload playbook concept will come to be the preferred approach. This is where organisations decide on the underlying platforms — private cloud, public cloud, edge computing, etc. — on a case-by-case basis. Other important findings from the research include:

  • Thirty-eight per cent of organisations are happy to continue managing their own environments today, with results similar by country (39 per cent in Australia and 36 per cent in New Zealand)
  • Managed private cloud continues to grow with 27 per cent of organisations saying they have a managed private cloud service they are planning to continue with in the future
  • An additional 16 per cent of decision-makers are looking to deploy a new private cloud environment
  • Four per cent of organisations will move out of their data centre in the next 24 months, and four per cent out of their co-location facility, which confirms what we see in the market — that most customers have already made these decisions and the conversation is at a workload, not environment, level
  • Organisations are balancing keeping the lights on, modernising their environments, and removing technical debt
    • Australian organisations show a more conservative focus with keeping existing IT systems running as the number one priority (18 per cent), followed by security (17 per cent), and then modernisation (17 per cent)
    • New Zealand organisations prioritise modernising the technology within their organisation (19 per cent), followed by improving security and compliance (18 per cent), and strengthening relationships with key suppliers (14 per cent)
  • Infrastructure and platforms remain the priority
    • Investing in new cloud and/or software as a service applications and hardware and data centre services are the top priorities, followed by investments in customer experience solutions and, for New Zealand, a strong focus on industry-based solutions
    • Only 17 per cent of organisations plan to move everything to public cloud, up two per cent from 2019 indicating a level of maturity and understanding of the available cloud offerings.

The data from our recent research carried out with TRA reiterates the view that, for most organisations, a hybrid cloud environment is the preferred option, noting some have preferences for a higher mix of private or public cloud, but are comfortable with multi-cloud.

This article is supported by Dell Technologies and VMware.

Doug Ollivier has more the 15 years’ experience establishing people-first technology strategies through design thinking and customer engagement processes. This is supported by his experience in cloud ecosystem design, product strategy, and new product development.

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