Research from Sungard Availability Services® finds that despite being considered a necessity in remaining competitive, complex ‘Hybrid IT’ systems are causing numerous problems for organisations


Dublin, Republic of Ireland: 28th October 2015 – Research from Sungard Availability Services ®  (Sungard AS), a leading provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, has revealed that over a third of Irish organisations  believe that the complexity of their IT estate is hindering their ability to innovate. The research questioned 100 senior IT decision makers in Irish organisations with more than 500 employees; with an average IT spend of just under €2.75m per year. 

The rise of cloud computing has placed IT into an era of transition, with organisations looking to embrace cloud and move away from the traditional approach. Many now find themselves in a state of Hybrid IT, running their business across a number of different IT platforms – whether that is private or public cloud, on premise servers, or data centre services. Unsurprisingly, compared to an approach in which infrastructure runs on a single platform, today's so-called Hybrid IT estate is becoming increasingly complex, and defined as such by 97 per cent of respondents.

However, despite this complexity, hybrid IT is viewed positively by 81 per cent of organisations and has been identified as a critical component of their success, with 61 per cent of Irish organisations stating that it was a necessary part of staying competitive within their industry. In fact, nearly half of respondents (48 per cent) claimed that the move to a Hybrid IT estate was a strategic choice. Those who have adopted a Hybrid IT approach have experienced a number of rewards – with nearly a third (32 per cent) pointing to better scalability while increased levels of availability and improved customer service/ response times have been noted by 27 and 25 per cent respectively.  

New IT, Old Challenges

However, the research also revealed a darker side of Hybrid IT. As increasing numbers of businesses turn to this approach, the perennial issue of IT complexity is once again rearing its head; 42 per cent of the Irish IT decision makers now rate their current IT estate as either 'very' or 'extremely' complex.

Furthermore, 71 per cent of organisations say they are now running more complex IT systems than before. This complexity is adding significant cost to the running of IT estates, with a third of Irish organisations (33 per cent) having seen an increase in operating costs thanks to Hybrid IT, adding an average of €64,121 every year.

Most worryingly, over a third (38 per cent) of IT decision makers claimed that the complexity of their Hybrid IT estate is hindering innovation in their organisation. Add to this the fact that nearly half of organisations (43 per cent) claim they do not have the skill sets needed to manage a complex Hybrid IT environment and we are left with a real cause for concern.

The research also found matters of IT security were considered as the biggest concern, with 34 per cent of organisations lacking the necessary skills to deal with security issues. Integration and interoperability was also a crucial concern: 27 per cent of Irish organisations felt they struggled to integrate public cloud environments into their IT estate. Similarly, 25 per cent of respondents admit to difficulties in integrating on premise cloud environments.

Commenting on the findings, Keith Tilley, Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Customer Services Management at Sungard Availability Services®, said:

"Most organisations in Ireland have legacy applications which they either cannot simply switch to the cloud overnight, nor do they even want to, so Hybrid IT is a necessary transition from more traditional, single platform on-premise systems, towards the adoption of cloud services. It is very promising that organisations recognise the strategic value of Hybrid IT in taking them on this journey, but it is equally disturbing that nearly half feel unable to cope with the level of complexity it has added to their business.

"Hybrid IT is a critical part of running a modern IT environment. However, like any IT strategy, it requires a well-considered and comprehensive roadmap. Building a Hybrid IT environment with ad hoc purchases and trying to keep numerous disparate applications integrated in a single system is a recipe for disaster. Hybrid IT might be, for many businesses, a stepping stone towards a cloud-first policy but a failure to invest in the right applications now will lead to significant issues in the future."  

Badreddine Laroussi, Group CIO – TDA Capital, commented:

"The whole point of moving to a Hybrid IT approach is to increase business agility. Technology is changing all the time, with new applications and services appearing on a weekly basis – organisations need an approach that can take advantage of this, allowing the right solutions to be brought into the IT estate whenever they become available. Of course, this requires careful planning: which applications would suit a cloud environment and which would be better elsewhere? Do you have the skillsets needed to make a success of this approach?"

The full report is available to download here. 

About the research

Interviews were carried out in September and October 2015 by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Sungard Availability Services®. 500 interviews were conducted altogether: 150 from the UK, 150 from France and 100 each from Sweden and Ireland. The research spoke to IT decision makers in businesses of over 500 employees across a variety of sectors – including financial services, business process management and retail.