Cost savings, in-house skills shortages and growing emphasis on business-advancing applications will drive enterprises to outsource nearly 70 percent of their IT infrastructure by 2018, according to a new global research from Savvis.
This study projects a reversal to today's situation, in which 65 percent of IT infrastructure resides in in-house environments, and suggests most organisations will arrive at outsourced cloud through hybrid approaches to colocation and managed-service models.
"The next five years will bring a dramatic shift in the way organisations approach IT," says Jeff Von Deylen, president, Savvis. "Clearly, cloud is part of the picture but it's not the whole picture. As businesses grow and move more IT infrastructure to outsourcing providers, they will adopt a strategic mix of colocation, managed-hosting and cloud services."
Savvis commissioned international research firm Vanson Bourne to conduct the survey among 550 IT decision makers in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Though in-house IT infrastructure models lead in popularity today, by percentage of infrastructure, the near future brings a hybrid shift, as colocation becomes the environment of choice in two years, managed services take the lead in five years and cloud eclipses all forms shortly thereafter.
This hybrid shift correlates with IT leader expectations for outsourcing partners: Nearly 70 percent of respondents agree their IT service provider needs to have a range of offerings to meet requirements at all stages of the buying and application lifecycle, and more than 65 percent agree an optimal cloud provider should own the underlying network.
Responses from IT leaders indicate their organizations will see revenues climb an average of 8.5 percent this year and an average of 11.5 percent next year.
Companies predicting higher growth rates tend to have a majority of their IT in in-house private cloud, colocation or managed hosting environments, the study found.
While the top benefit of IT outsourcing remains "cost reduction or containment," cited by 42 percent of IT leaders, "improved quality of service" and "infrastructure scalability and flexibility" also rank high on the list of advantages, with each indicated "important" by more than 35 percent of survey responders.
Nearly 90 percent of respondents say they use some type of cloud service today, with more than half turning to cloud for storage and email applications.
Slightly less than half of IT leaders employ cloud for intranet, website and microsite applications.
After nonmission-critical applications, the next-most popular elements of infrastructure that IT leaders plan to outsource include data-center facilities, storage and content-management applications.
"IT leaders make clear that hybrid approaches to outsourcing guide the way to cloud," says Von Deylen. "As organisations turn to outsourcing to drive growth, they will find value in service providers that can enhance their agility through a variety of secure, scalable infrastructure models and flexible end-to-end solutions."