Only 5% of decision-makers from public and private organisations have currently achieved a meaningful level of consistency across their sprawling IT infrastructure.

This is despite the fact that nearly two-thirds (64%) of organisations were expected to have further increased their spending on public cloud services in 2019, compared to the prior year.

According to the Enterprise Strategy Group report commissioned by Dell Technologies and Intel, while an increasing number of organisations are offloading their workloads to public cloud service providers, many have also continued to evolve their on-premises IT environments to keep pace by enabling a flexible approach to consuming infrastructure as seen with public clouds.

As such, fragmentation is on the rise and organisations are struggling with overly complex multi-cloud environments.

Globally, 73% of organisations agreed that using public cloud or multiple cloud services alongside on-premises infrastructure have added complexity to IT operations.

All organisations see great value in the concept of management simplification. According to the study, nearly seven out of 10 global IT decision-makers anticipate increased cloud management consistency to drive down overall costs by an average of 19%.

Across the board, IT decision-makers globally agreed that cloud management consistency could have a positive impact developer experience, with 96% stating that it would be easier for developers to push code to production. Fifty-six percent of these IT decision-makers expect this to become a daily occurrence as a result.

Organisations also anticipated a reduction in the number of security breaches, application outages, or other events affecting their public cloud-resident data by 30% on average.

The report also explains how these IT benefits can translate into bigger benefits for the business. For example, 38% of organisations reported that their hybrid cloud initiatives have been very effective at driving value for the organisation since achieving cloud management consistency. These initiatives help the organisation to innovate and create competitive differentiation for the company.

The study identified that the benefits realised by the few global organisations with consistent cloud management often outstripped the aforementioned expectations, with 90% of IT decision makers reporting experiencing increased efficiency and simplified operations.

Beyond efficiency, 87% of IT decision-makers said they experienced an acceleration in time to market, 81% increased the pace of innovation, 77% sped up the application development cycles, and 74% were able to adopt transformative technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning as a result.

As a result, the study provides recommendations on how to achieve significant cloud consistency improvements over the next 12-18 months:

* Don’t forget private cloud: While cloud management consistency is critical, it is not the only requisite for optimised hybrid cloud success. Organisations should also ensure their on-premises infrastructure is modernised, cloud-compatible, hyperconverged, and API-driven.

* Skill up transformational roles: As demonstrated by the successful few, cloud management consistency will be transformative for IT teams through increased AI/ML usage and accelerated application development. As cloud management workflows are streamlined, IT decision makers should focus on training and recruiting talent with the skillsets needed to advance analytics, DevOps, and intelligent automation initiatives.

* When in doubt, look to the experts: For many organisations, enacting cloud management consistency will be a daunting activity and specialists may be needed to guide this transition. For this, IT decision-makers should look to a third party, be they IT vendors, system integrators, value-added resellers, or all three, to help architect and implement cloud infrastructure projects.

Nigel Moulton, global chief technology officer at Dell Technologies, comments: “It’s great to see that more organisations are seeing the value in multi-cloud IT environments.

“However, with only 5% having achieved cloud management consistency, a large proportion of organisations are still not experiencing the vast and lucrative benefits that this approach has to offer.

“It’s clear more must be done to align and simplify these hybrid environments. Dell Technologies prides itself on its diverse portfolio, understanding of cloud as an operating model, and work with organisations around the world in reducing complexity of multiple cloud environments with a hybrid cloud approach that offers consistent infrastructure operations and management.”