New Survey Reveals the Big 4 Reasons Behind Cloud Migrations and the Off-Premise Exodus


Organizations continue to migrate their IT infrastructure off-premise, and this trend is not slowing down any time soon. INAP’s 2019 State of IT Infrastructure Management survey, released in November, revealed that nearly 9 in 10 organizations (88 percent) will be migrating at least some workloads off-premise in the next three years.

This already high percentage jumps to an even greater level when only looking at organizations that already have remote environments. Ninety-six percent of this group plans to move more workloads off-prem in the near future.

For this second annual survey, participants—500 IT leaders and infrastructure managers—were asked why they are moving workloads off-prem, and where those workloads are going. The results indicate four big reasons for moving off-prem, as well as the share of companies migrating workloads to cloud, colo and bare metal.

If you haven’t checked out the survey report yet, read up on it here, or download the full report below.

Why Companies are Moving Off-Premise

Big 4

The data above compares the 2018 and 2019 results of the survey. The clear top four reasons for 2019—network, scalability, resiliency and security—make a compelling case for why the demise of the on-premise data center is perhaps inevitable within the next decade. Let’s explore this year’s top reasons in greater depth.

Improve Network Performance

Jumping up six points from 2018, where it ranked No. 3 overall, network performance has claimed the No. 1 spot for reasons to move off-premise. Ultra-low latency and high availability is critically important to end users (think multi-player gamers, streaming customers, Ad Tech and financial service consumers, etc.) and can make the difference between retaining customers or losing them to a competitor. Additionally, conversations around the importance of Edge Computing and Edge Networking strategies continue to grow in prominence, meaning network performance will only grow more important.

Accomplishing both low latency and high availability requires not only more bandwidth, but better infrastructure to serve end users at the edge. Alternatively, organizations can take advantage of network route optimization technologies to ensure traffic is always sent along the lowest-latency path.

Whichever path an organization chooses to take, it’s clear that traditional on-premise data centers are increasingly incapable of delivering the performance today’s digital economy demands. To truly compete in the current and future tech landscape, strong network performance is a requirement, not a necessity.

Application Scalability and Resiliency

The No. 2 (scalability) and No. 3 (resiliency) reasons are both essential components of running workloads and applications in the digital economy. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions deliver these attributes via on-demand deployment, and colocation data centers deliver them via greater space and power capacity, each offering companies the ability to add resources easier and more efficiently than they can with the average on-premise facility.

Additionally, any quality off-premise solution will include component and utility redundancy, enabling up-time of 99.999 percent annually. A single point of failure, whether it’s related to electrical, power or cooling, for example, will not disrupt your service in a Tier 3 data center run and maintained by a reliable partner.

Infrastructure and Data Center Security

Cyberattacks continue to grow in sophistication and frequency. Earlier this year, we rounded up sobering statistics on the state of cybersecurity. Did you know that it takes an organization 34 days on average to patch for critical common vulnerabilities and exposures? And did you also know that a successful phishing attempt will cost small or medium business $1.6 million on average? It’s no wonder security ranked No. 4 as a reason to move off-premise.

As information security initiatives attract more attention from the C-suite, in-house IT infrastructure and operations leaders will continue to view on-premise facilities as a vulnerability. The levels of physical and network security offered by leading cloud and data center providers goes above and beyond what an on-premise operation can achieve. The security and compliance-ready attributes of Tier 3 data center facilities instantly tick several “best-practice” boxes, giving IT pros and the C-suite alike peace of mind, not to mention assurance that their infrastructure will be ready to stand up to future threats.

Additionally, more companies are choosing to offload the day-to-day management of common security functions like monitoring, log management and patch management. For instance, a fully managed hosted private cloud offers the scalability and security that organizations are looking for and allows them to work with a trusted partner to deploy the best-fit solution for applications and workloads.

The Future of IT Infrastructure is Hybrid

Now that we understand why organizations are headed off-prem, let’s explore where they are moving. We asked survey participants to choose from non-Software as a Service (SaaS) and non-Platform as a Service (PaaS) environments, including hosted private cloud, hyperscale public cloud, colocation data center and hosted bare metal or dedicated servers. The participants were able to select all options that applied.

Hybrid IT

Based on the results, we learned that it’s not a uniform journey to the major hyperscale cloud providers. Organizations plan to spread workloads across a variety of different environments, including colocation and hosted private clouds, with the later just outpacing the hyperscalers at 77 percent.

Between colocation and the different types of clouds, organizations have plenty of choice when it comes to their off-premise infrastructure, and there is no one-size-fits-all best solution. In this hybrid era of IT, it will be important for organizations to evaluate their infrastructure strategies for to ensure that their chosen solutions (cloud, colo, etc.) are best meeting workload requirements.

“All of that infrastructure spread out across multiple data centers and clouds needs to be centrally managed, monitored and secured with efficiency,” says Jennifer Curry, INAP’s SVP, Global Cloud Services in TechRepublic’s coverage of the report. “This is no easy feat, so my recommendation would be to seek out partners who understand how to design performance-driven architectures and partners who can provide you the flexibility and support required to give your teams the peace of mind and the ability to focus on what matters most.”

The Off-Premise Acceleration

Just how fast will the on-premise data center exodus be? Respondents were asked to anticipate the percentage share of on-premise workloads now and three years from now in our latest survey. Overall, IT pros expect a 38 percent reduction in on-premise workloads by 2022. While there are myriad reasons to move away from on-prem infrastructures, the “Big 4” reasons present a compelling case for this migration.

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Laura Vietmeyer
  • Content Specialist

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