Leaders Proactively Optimize Workload Location

To get to an optimal balance of workloads on shared and dedicated cloud-based environments as well as traditional on-premises environments, Leaders are more thoughtful about workload placement at time of development and at time of deployment. 

They are also more confident in their ability to move workloads when and where appropriate. The maturity of this continual workload optimization is a hallmark of IT organizations’ sophistication and maturity.

60% of enterprises in this study have moved workloads or are seriously considering moving them from shared public cloud environments onto dedicated infrastructures, a strong signal of their desire to rebalance workloads to get an appropriate distribution, matching workload needs with the performance characteristics of specific infrastructure types. Leaders are much more active than Laggards in moving workloads throughout their IT infrastructures to suit their needs (Figure 7). They are more likely to deploy digital services to edge locations, consolidate datacenters, and leverage cloud.

Leaders Actively Rebalance Workloads to a Much Greater Degree than Laggards

n = 536
Source: IDC's IT Transformation Survey

Leaders are also considerably more likely to have relocated workloads away from public cloud to in-house infrastructure or shifted them to a dedicated hosted private cloud to better meet business goals. Among Leaders, 69% have relocated applications back in house and another 27% are presently considering doing so. In contrast, only 5% of Laggards have relocated workloads and another 8% are currently considering relocation. Similarly, 73% of Leaders have shifted workloads from public cloud to hosted private cloud with another 26% considering such a move. Less than 1% of Laggards have made this shift with another 7% considering it.

Regardless of the location of the applications and data, the research confirms the continued trend toward cloud-native platforms that deliver speed and agility beyond the capabilities of more rigid, traditional infrastructure.

Enabling relocation from any environment to another when it’s appropriate is an important part of IT’s ability to ensure it continually employs the right mix of architectures to best serve the organization. Part of what enables Leaders to relocate workloads is their greater confidence in their ability to deploy and manage flexible infrastructure assets in their own facilities. To ensure their infrastructures are ready for workload relocation, Digital Leaders are more focused on investing in network bandwidth, data migration tools, and software defined infrastructure (Figure 8). They realize that they need to alleviate performance burdens and bottlenecks to ensure relocation, when necessary, is successful and cost-effective.

Investment Areas for Workload Repatriation

n = 536
Source: IDC's IT Transformation Survey

Leaders are nearly 14 times as likely to relocate workloads as are Laggards (see Figure 10), and are more than 100 times more likely to have moved business-critical applications from public cloud to hosted private cloud.

Percentage of Businesses That Have Repatriated or Are in the Process of Repatriating Workloads

n = 810
Source: IDC's IT Transformation Survey

One motivator for these changes is to facilitate pay-as-you-go, consumption-based pricing models and automation. Seventy-five percent of Leaders view traditional on-premises infrastructure as an enabler of pay-as-you-go pricing, and 86% view it as an enabler of automation. Among Laggards, 39% and 33% feel the same way, respectively. Attitudes are similar for private cloud infrastructure. Eight-three percent of Leaders view private cloud as an enabler of pay-as-you-go pricing and 87% as an automation enabler. In either case, only 42% of Laggards see private cloud as such an enabler.