Hybrid cloud computing is growing increasingly popular among major enterprise companies.
Hybrid cloud computing is growing increasingly popular among major enterprise companies.

Almost half of large enterprise companies are set to adopt hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017, according to new figures.

Analysts at Gartner forecast hybrid cloud will be the solution of choice for enterprises in the coming year, with hybrid deployments following a similar development path seen by private cloud solutions in the past three years. Gartner said private cloud deployments moved from an aspiration to a reality—and now the same pattern is being seen with the hybrid cloud.

Enterprise cloud computing deployments generally fall into three buckets: Public, private and hybrid. Public cloud services are hosted and managed by a third-party company. Notable examples include Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and Microsoft. Private cloud deployments are hosted and managed in-house.

Hybrid deployments take aspects of both public and private cloud, pulling resources from managed service providers for some applications, and in-house cloud services for others.

While the research firm is bullish on the cloud, its report criticized many companies for adopting the private cloud in a haphazard way.

“Too often, private cloud projects are started by choosing a technology, but technology itself does not solve the transformational people and process issues,” Gartner Vice President Thomas Bittman wrote. “It is much better to focus first on an approach to make transformative changes.” See related article: 60 Percent of Companies Prefer Hybrid Cloud Solutions

That often means creating an organization outside of traditional IT departments to identify problems and incubate projects before their scope expands.

Gartner also added the progress organizations have made so far with private cloud deployments varies widely.

Initially, most deployments start small and have limited functionality. However, as those private cloud portfolios grow, the resulting cloud infrastructures will likely be based on the technologies chosen for pilot projects.

Therefore, the winners and losers in the cloud market will be determined very quickly, as businesses will demand integration throughout all levels of their cloud management solutions. Vendors that are not able to offer high-quality services at the start of deployments are likely to fail within the next few years.

Bittman added that while private clouds will continue to be an important part of the corporate IT makeup in the coming years, the trend toward hybrid deployments reflects that organizations are developing a better understanding of what solutions are appropriate to different requirements.

“While the majority of midsize and large enterprises will build and deploy private cloud services over the next few years, private cloud will only be used for specific, appropriate services,” he said.