If it’s hot, it’s hybrid! At least, that’s what the marketplace have us believe when you consider hybrid cars, hybrid energy sources and, in the IT space, hybrid cloud. The hype around hybrid cloud solutions certainly seems to point to hybrid as the technology solution du jour. But is it headed for widespread adoption in the enterprise – a tipping point? Early market data suggests that it is, and that it’s happening soon. New global research commissioned by Avanade shows that the tipping point for hybrid cloud is fast approaching, with companies the world over indicating that they expect more than half of their applications and services will be deployed on the hybrid cloud within an average of three years.

I’ve been surprised at how quickly this concept has permeated the IT industry.

What’s driving this interest in hybrid cloud models? One factor is C-suite optimism. Hybrid cloud’s inherent speed and flexibility allows organizations to focus more on strategic priorities, and the C-suite is taking notice. While companies overwhelmingly agree that hybrid cloud should be one of their biggest priorities (69 percent agree), C-level executives lead this charge, with 75 percent calling it a focus area in 2015.

But given the proliferation of digital technologies available to businesses, why the emphasis on hybrid cloud? It’s simple. Companies view hybrid cloud as a strategic asset, and are in overwhelming agreement that it offers a competitive advantage that better positions their organizations to focus on issues that are core to the growth of the business. The most often-cited benefits? Customization and flexibility.

Before they can realize the benefits, however, companies must overcome hurdles.

While 73 percent of respondents agree that adopting a hybrid cloud solution will give their organization an edge over competitors, 70 percent of non-hybrid users do not have a hybrid cloud strategy in place. Even among those organizations that do have a strategy, many do not have defined steps for implementing it; less than half have a skilled cloud team (46 percent), data governance and security (45 percent) or a dedicated budget (43 percent).

Regardless of their organizations’ preparedness for hybrid cloud, business and IT leaders alike agree that hybrid cloud will give IT professionals the tools, capabilities and control they need to stay relevant to the business.

For IT professionals globally, playing a key role in developing a hybrid cloud strategy represents an opportunity to align with C-level strategic priorities. Hybrid models’ inherent flexibility will give IT a better control point to guide enterprise adoption of cloud services – and in doing so, provide greater value for the business.

Hybrid Cloud – From Hype to Reality from Avanade