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Businesses Moving From Public Cloud Due To Security, Says IDC Survey

Organizations are moving 50 percent of their public cloud applications to either a private cloud or non-cloud environment over the next two years, according to an IDC survey.

Businesses are migrating applications and data away from the public cloud at a staggering rate in favor of on-premises and private cloud environments, according to a survey by research firm IDC.

A whopping 80 percent of the 400 IT decision-makers who participated in IDC’s 2018 Cloud and AI Adoption Survey said their organization has migrated either applications or data that were primarily part of a public cloud environment to an on-premises or private cloud solution in the last year.

In addition, respondents said they plan to move 50 percent of their public cloud installed applications to either a private cloud or non-cloud environment over the next two years.

[Related: Dell Revenue Expected To Surpass $100B By 2022]

Craig Manahan, practice manager of data center infrastructure for Cincinnati-based RoundTower Technologies, who made CRN's 2018 Fast Growth 150 list, said he's seeing customers moving away from public cloud after mistakenly "jumping into public cloud with two feet."

"People are starting to get smarter about what workloads belong in the public cloud and which ones don't," said Manahan. "If you can refactor an application to take advantage of what the public cloud provides, it's a great use case. But if you don’t take the time to do that and you go into public cloud, it can become very expensive, very quickly. … We definitely are seeing some movement back to on-premise."

The top reason for businesses moving away from public cloud was security, according to the IDC report, which surveyed 400 decision-makers who represented small, midmarket and large enterprise organizations.

Manahan said customers often have a misconception that if they're in the public cloud, their data is protected and secure. "That somehow the vendor you choose – whether it be Amazon or Google or Azure – that they provide those services natively. If you go in with that approach and don’t take time to architect the right security or right data protection solution, then you certainly are at a high risk."

Businesses must architect security and data protection solution for on-premises and private cloud environments, he said. "There's some miseducation or misconception about what is provided in the public cloud. So by bringing it back in-house, you can provide better visibility," said Manahan.

The other top reasons respondents cited for moving off public cloud were performance, cost and control, according to the survey.

In an interview with CRN this year, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell said on-premises solutions are more cost-effective than public cloud for the majority of workloads.

"What we have seen when you automate and modernize the infrastructure, software-define everything, and move up to the platform level, is that for the predictable workloads – which are for most companies 85 percent to 90 percent of their workloads – an on-premises solution is much more cost-effective," said Dell.

Many solution providers have echoed similar statements, saying customers are moving away from the public cloud after realizing cost benefits and the security advantage of an on-premises solution powered by software-defined technologies such as hyper-converged infrastructure.

While public cloud vendors have built software-defined/automated IT services, creating a very attractive interface for developers, those great technology advances are "not unique to the public cloud," said Dell. "So what's happening is this idea of automating everything and software-defining everything, and getting to kind of autonomous operations of infrastructure is occurring all across the computing spectrum," said Dell. "So it's happening in the private clouds, it's happening at the edge, happening at the distributed core, public clouds, Software-as-a-Service, managed services – everybody's going in that direction."

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