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US Enterprises Rapidly Move Critical Workloads to the Hybrid Cloud, but Seek Assistance

ISG Provider Lens report sees growing demand for managed services providers to help businesses capitalize on hybrid cloud environments

Many US enterprises are rapidly moving critical workloads to hybrid cloud environments to ensure business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are looking to managed services providers to help them get the best value from their cloud investments, according to a new report published by Information Services Group, a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2020 ISG Provider Lens Next-Gen Private/Hybrid Cloud – Data Center Services & Solutions Report for the U.S. finds many enterprises are delaying or cutting IT spending in the short term, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But spending on cloud-based as-a-service solutions in the U.S. is expected to be up 12 percent by the end of the year.

Enterprises adopting the hybrid cloud model have generally been able to weather the pandemic, the report says. “Hybrid clouds give enterprises the flexibility they need to address several challenges, such as business continuity and the running of critical operations in a secure environment,” said Jan Erik Aase, director and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Hybrid cloud is proving to be a crucial factor in the success of work-from-home scenarios.”

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In their move to a hybrid cloud model, many U.S. enterprises are focused on storing sensitive and valuable data on private clouds. But after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, enterprises should engage with managed services providers to avoid high capital expenditures and bills from cloud providers, the report recommends. Providers can help CIOs and CTOs with concerns about downtime and with managing their shrinking IT budgets.

The report also sees U.S. enterprises moving to the hybrid cloud model to deal with the explosive growth in the amount of data they are generating. These large volumes of data must be stored and managed in a secure environment, creating a major challenge for businesses. Some cloud providers are exploring new technologies, including data thinning and faster data transfers, to assist customers with data volume issues.

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Providers also are rolling out solutions that leverage artificial intelligence-based cognitive capabilities or machine learning tools to speed up service delivery, increase IT efficiency and deliver a superior user experience, the report says. Some cloud providers have developed tools that predict downtime and take self-healing measures. AI for IT operations, or AIOps, can monitor elements of an entire hybrid environment and provide predictive analytics for incident management.

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The report also notes the managed hosting market is rebounding from a recent trend of losing relevance. Managed hosting can help customers address issues related to auditing data location, migrating software licenses to the public cloud and managing the capacity and cost of hyperconverged systems.

The report also sees a major shortage of talent in the data center industry, driven by an aging workforce. It finds a rise in demand for secure data centers, as the need for enhanced security grows with the increased adoption of virtualization and cloud-based services.

Finally, the report predicts edge data centers as the next big thing in the industry. Edge solutions are designed to complement data center and cloud services, and by bringing data collection closer to the network edge for processing, edge centers can drastically reduce latency and increase responsiveness.

The 2020 ISG Provider Lens™ Next-Gen Private/Hybrid Cloud – Data Center Services & Solutions Report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 79 providers across six quadrants: Managed Services for Large Accounts, Managed Services for the Midmarket, Managed Hosting, Colocation Services, Data Center Security Products and Hyperconverged Systems.

The report names IBM as a leader in three quadrants, and Capgemini, Cisco, Ensono and Rackspace Technology as leaders in two. Accenture, Broadcom/Symantec, Check Point, Cognizant, Coresite, CyrusOne, Cyxtera, Dell EMC, Digital Realty, DXC Technology, Equinix, Fujitsu, HCL, Hexaware, HPE, Infosys, Mphasis, NTT, Nutanix, Palo Alto Networks, Sungard AS, TCS, Trend Micro, VMware, Wipro, Zayo and Zensar are all named leaders in one quadrant.

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