Systems Of Record On Premises, Systems Of Engagement In The Cloud
April 18, 2022 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I guess it all depends on the words, and the picture. But sometimes, when you see a bit of market data that displays an industry trend, it nails exactly what the anecdotal evidence suggests is going on in the real world. It saves a lot of words in that regard, particularly if you are looking for some kind of confirmation that your own strategy is one that is prevailing out there in the IT market at large.
So it was with a chart that we came across recently in the Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud report, which you can download here if you are so inclined. The State of the Cloud report was started by a cloud management company called RightScale, which was acquired by Flexera Software in 2018 (best known for its InstallShield application installer).
The data in the latest cloud report was gathered in late 2021 and had 753 respondents, which is a bit higher than we usually see in the IBM i market, but again, this is a broad IT survey on not one based just on the IBM i marketplace, which represents maybe 2 percent to 3 percent of the systems market. (Back in the day, then the IT sector was smaller and fewer things were computerized, it represented about 10 percent to 15 percent of the market, depending on how you counted it.) The survey data was a little top heavy, with 31 percent of those polled having more than 10,000 employees and only 7 percent having from 1 to 100 and only 14 percent having between 100 and 1,000 employees. We know that the economy has tens of millions of small and medium businesses and only a few tens of thousands of large enterprises, so decide for yourself if this data is representative.
This is the chart that jumped out to us in the report, which talks about the cloud strategy at organizations:
IBM must be delighted to see such data, since hybrid cloud is basically its entire business strategy at this point.
As you can see, among those surveyed, a small percentage are doing private cloud on premises (or in a co-location facility) as their cloud strategy, and 9 percent say that a single public cloud is their strategic choice. But 89 percent of those surveyed say that multi-cloud – meaning multiple islands of infrastructure that is virtualized in some fashion – is their cloud strategy. And di you drill down into that hybrid cloud number, only 2 percent of these IT shops say they will build multiple private cloud environments and another 7 percent say they will span multiple public clouds, but the remaining 80 percent (there are some rounding issues in this dataset) are going to do hybrid cloud – meaning a combination of private cloud and a single public cloud – as their core strategy.
This is what we have always believed would be the case, and we never did believe, as the top brass at Amazon Web Services has from Day One, that “in the fullness of time,” as chief executive officer Andy Jassy often says, that every workload would move to a public cloud – and AWS always means its public cloud when it says that.
The fact of the matter is that the public cloud is very expensive, but very flexible and interesting, and the private cloud is a great baseline on which to build. I would go so far as to say that systems of record will be in the private cloud on premises, and systems of engagement will be on the public cloud, with the two linked in a hybrid fashion. The former is established and works, and you don’t break what don’t need fixing, and the latter is totally unknown to a lot of IBM i shops and the fastest way to engage with this new AI-driven engagement system is to rent services on one of the big public clouds and run it there.
What do you think about all of this? What is you plan, and be specific about what systems and applications you are planning to run where.