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The 2017 IT Trends Report: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization

Level 13

SolarWinds recently released the 2017 IT Trends Report: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization, which highlights the current trends in IT from the perspective of IT professionals. The full details of the report, as well as recommendations for hybrid IT success, can be found at

The findings are based on a survey fielded in December 2016. It yielded responses from 205 IT practitioners, managers, and directors in the U.S. and Canada from public and private-sector small, mid-size, and enterprise companies that leverage cloud-based services for at least some of their IT infrastructure. The results of the survey illustrate what a modern hybrid IT organization looks like, and shows cost benefits of the cloud, as well as the struggle to balance shifting job and skill dynamics. 

The following are some key takeaways from the 2017 IT Trends Report:

  1. Moving more applications, storage, and databases into the cloud.
  2. Experiencing the cost efficiencies of the cloud.
  3. Building and expanding cloud roles and skill sets for IT professionals.
  4. Increasing complexity and lacking visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure.

Cloud and hybrid IT are a reality for many organizations today. They have created a new era of work that is more global, interconnected, and flexible than ever. At the same time, the benefits of hybrid IT introduce greater complexity and technology abstraction. IT professionals are tasked with devising new and creative methods to monitor and manage these services, as well as prepare their organizations and themselves for continued technology advancements.

Are these consistent with your organizational directives and environment? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


We are very cautiously moving to the cloud.  Currently, our primary cloud presence is around developer workstations / servers.  We have yet to move any production apps to the cloud.  However, within the past year or so, we have created an internal cloud team to handle all things cloud.

Level 20

The report showed exactly where my issues are:

The top reason given for bringing applications and infrastructure back on-premises was security and compliance (28%), followed by poor performance (21%).


Definitely yes, but a lot of questions are raised when it comes to moving things onto cloud - like security, maintenance, skill gaps, grey areas etc. Few would as well say a MAY BE, I am sure cloud is the future but for now, most of them would still have a hybrid IT, we generally tend to move with a iterative approach like say 20% on cloud & the rest on-premises. This % that I am talking about would change for sure - but transformation would take some time.

Level 13

1. Public cloud, nope, are you crazy???

2. private cloud, yep

3. of course - although if someone said, yes, I'm a highly certified cloud specialist, I'd laugh

4. yeah, I'm all about complexity - 10 servers, 8 switches, and 5 firewalls, to 100 servers, 35 switches, 35 firewalls, and about 15 other appliances...all in less than 3 years.


as mentioned one of the biggest challenges is attempting to monitor things you can't see or touch like you can with on site tools and applications.

kong.yang​, thank you for the article, I was unaware of the published document. 

In my environment we are not finding these items to be consistent.   My parent company would agree but as the smaller joint venture, we are not using a hybrid, or really much cloud at all.   Office 365 and some Azure management pieces yes.  The reality is for a small IT shop, and even smaller budget, the op-ex vs CapEx model simple doesn't work out.   Lets take backup.   Licensing, disk costs, array hardware NAS costs for disk backup, support agreements, and internal management time, costs me roughly $764 a month to manage in-house.  I should state that is for nearly 24 TB of backup storage and rotation.  Now I don't know of a single vendor on the market that can touch that, and given we still have to manage and monitor backups, and maintain some local backups, a cloud DR solution which many will and can argue how valuable it is if Ransomware strikes or a hurricane were to wipe us out being in central Florida.  I have yet to make a case our company president will accept for the additional costs.  Even if I could reduce the TB footprint to 4 - 6 TB the cost is thousands a month.   So although there are compelling reasons many of which I agree with, our business model simple being a single cement plant in central Florida and all employees local to the plant, it doesn't make sense for us.

I have a few Cloud-based observations:

  • After moving to Azure, our Microsoft-based apps (especially Outlook/Exchange) are MUCH slower than when we had our own on-premise equipment.  Some users report an hour delay on receiving e-mails or synchronizations of their e-mail accounts.  Most users report hanging outbound e-mail sessions when e-mails contain attachments.  Thankfully the sessions only hang for 30 seconds, but who's got that kind of time to not be able to use their computer when you're used to clicking Send and moving on to the next task?
  • Securing the cloud remains an uncertainty--which is the LAST thing your services & data need.
  • Monitoring the cloud is not something organizations may remember to include in their budgeting.  Solarwinds' new cloud monitoring solutions sound great, but they're not free.  Don't move to the cloud until  AFTER your security and monitoring needs are assured.
Level 13

Maybe it's your network rschroeder​ 


Level 12

"The top reason given for bringing applications and infrastructure back on-premises was security and compliance (28%), followed by poor performance (21%)."

This says a lot to me. This means that everyone touting the "increased performance" and "effortless state of the art security and compliance" really are not able to deliver on those promises.

I find it amusing that the three biggest things the "Cloud Zealot's" tout are security, performance, and price compared to on prem options, and two of those three things are the biggest reasons people bring things back on prem. In the end you really do get what you pay for. If moving something to the cloud cuts your costs, either you did something wrong when you bought the system, or your cutting something from the picture. If your cost savings are coming from cutting back on IT staff, you will just be shooting yourself in the foot. You still need people to work with the systems, otherwise you have no one to blame when it stops working properly. You can't move all your databases to the cloud and get rid of your DBA's.

Our HR department decided to move their ERP from in house to a cloud vendor thinking they would save themselves a lot of time and effort with dealing with the system. They found out the hard way that this resulted in them having to actually do MORE work because of the system, and they ended up hiring a dedicated person just to deal with that system. So instead of saving money, their Cloud in Shining Armor that was going to save them money, ended up costing them an entire FTE. This is a perfect example of them being sold a bill of goods and not understand what they were buying into. They thought the vendor would handle all the data entry and everything like that and literally do HR's job for them. They got a rude awakening on day 1 that is for sure. It is also costing them a lot more for it then they initially thought as well. They didn't realize that to get all the functionality of the system, they had to pay for all the various pieces of it and not just the bare minimum.

The cloud is not all shiny and perfect people. It is just someone elses physical infrastructure with the same points of failure and flaws that your on-prem stuff can have.

Happily, Solarwinds proves it's the cloud.

Level 21

As I just mentioned in a different post, I work for a hybrid cloud solutions provider so I am probably a bit biased on this but I truly do think that a hybrid approach provides the flexibility to meet just about any need.  It's also worth noting that we use SolarWinds solutions for monitoring all of our hybrid solutions from the infrastructure and data-centers all the way up through the applications.

Level 13

Ah, but if the cloud breaks, and no one notices, is it really broken?

Level 12

As Amazon (with the typo) and Dyn (with the massive ddos) proved to us recently, everyone knows when the cloud is broken. Never thought I would live to see the day that when the sky is clear and not a cloud in the sky is a sign of bad things and many tears of sadness start falling!

Level 13

I'll stick to my private cloud.

My company is still dipping their toes into Cloud. The water isn't quite right for us yet. Leadership is still intimidated by the ambiguity and lack of control that hosting on a public CLoud brings.

  We are still building and perfecting our hybrid Cloud. We first want to be able to provide services to the business from anywhere within our company before making the leap. When we decide to do so we will start with our non-PRD first and then work up our IT Tiers for availability & criticality.

Level 13

design and build a private one for them!

Level 21

I always want to caution people about #2 as cost savings (or efficiencies) are not immediately recognized or obvious.  To really take advantage of cost efficiencies in the cloud you really need to re-platform your applications to leverage the capabilities of the cloud.  Unfortunately most attempts at cloud migrations don't go through this re-platforming process and just end up moving bulky VM's into the cloud and that generally ends up costing you more in the end.  If you are looking to moving to the cloud and aren't sure I would strongly encourage you to seek out other professionals that have experience with it and can help you make the most of it.


sometimes part of the cost is not apparent until you get into the new environment....  At which point you realize the cast savings is not what you thought or were led to believe.

About the Author
After CIS/MIS contracted for DISA in mid 90’s Worked with Toyota for 3 years Worked for GE for 4 years (Here was where I first found SW products) Did a bunch of various network engineering projects Contracted for GE for 4 more years Currently working with General Dynamics Mission Systems   William Eckler IT Business Operations Services .ılılı..ılılı. GENERAL DYNAMICS Mission Systems