Australian IT leaders are prioritising hybrid cloud to transform their IT operations, according to a survey released by Microsoft.

Illustrating the rate of hybrid cloud adoption in Australia, 40 per cent of Australian IT leaders are already on the hybrid cloud journey. Microsoft expects that number will increase to 49 per cent in the next 12 to 18 months. Currently 43 per cent are using private cloud and 17 per cent using public cloud solutions.

The study showed that respondents are not likely to increase their investments in private- or public-only cloud solutions, reinforcing the demand for a hybrid approach.

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Microsoft’s survey covered 1,200 leaders across 12 markets across Asia-Pacific who are evolving their IT infrastructure strategies to meet the needs of a digital business.

IT leaders are struggling to balance legacy IT needs, budget demands and the need to modernise to meet the demands for a digital future. The survey found Australian IT leaders spend 53 per cent of their time on maintenance, 24 per cent on developing next generation digital capabilities and 23 per cent on business leadership on digital transformation initiatives. They are concerned about the skills gap in their organisations, citing the top three skills most needed in their organisations are in security (63 per cent), data analytics (58 per cent) and cloud app management (50 per cent).

67 per cent of Australia IT leaders agree there is a need to invest more in IT security solutions and services, and 62 per cent agree on the need to reduce complexity of managing the increasing portfolio of IT security solutions.

The innovation in cloud is causing the usage of cloud apps to explode. On average, it is estimated that there are 370 apps being used per organisation in Australia (compared to 340 in Asia Pacific) and they need robust tools to manage them.

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Mike Heald, Hybrid Cloud (Azure) Product Manager, Microsoft Australia said: “Hybrid cloud is a natural progression for all organisations, regardless of size to reach their digital ambitions. It’s a tough balancing act for IT to manage both current and future digital needs of the business. The cloud holds rich new applications which will enable better management tools, intelligent applications and advanced analytics to not just reduce cost and increase efficiency but to also innovate and enable faster time to market. As such, it can’t be ignored but it needs to be managed.”  via

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