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CIOs Cite Flexibility in Shift to Hybrid Cloud

by Kenneth Murphy

August 14, 2013

By Ken Murphy


According to a joint SAP and Wakefield Research survey, a hybrid cloud approach is gaining steam with CIO’s, with no signs of abating. The national survey polled more than 50 CIO’s, nearly half of whom were from Fortune 1000 companies. Here’s the nitty-gritty:

  • 67% of respondents using cloud applications have adopted some hybrid tools
  • 75% of hybrid users say IT processes are less complex after migration
  • 87% say cloud solutions are important to the business, and 83% say on-premise solutions are equally important.

The takeaway? Hybrid is here to stay. I recently spoke with a C-level executive at a large HCM cloud company whose own experience with customers lends credence to the recent survey, which was conducted last spring and released last month. According to this executive, clients are drawn to the cloud in part because it offers flexibility, an attractive option in a time of rapidly changing business processes. Recruiting, for example, is becoming more competitive in the hunt for top talent, and companies seeking an end-to-end candidate tracking solution are looking to the cloud for the benefits of quick deployment, greater innovation, low start-up cost, and scalability.

Best practices in recruiting may change quickly, and the cloud allows for unmatched responsiveness.  If a company’s core HR functions are on-premise, then a hybrid model in this scenario makes sense, especially if the recruiting solution integrates with the existing infrastructure. Otherwise, the very things that make the cloud an attractive option disappear rather quickly if in order to access the cloud a company has to rip and replace its entire on-premise installation.

This executive says that the hybrid model gels with one of the biggest concerns he’s hearing from customers: that a comprehensive, end-to-end HRIS have the flexibility to accommodate their changing processes and their unique needs. Often, those “unique needs” mean – at least for now – keeping pieces of their HR solutions on-premise for the peace of mind that comes with trusted security measures, which the Wakefield survey indicating that security is the biggest hurdle toward adopting a full cloud platform.

The bottom line is the rapidly changing HR industry, strictly homegrown solutions are not usually nimble enough to accommodate for process change without adding complexity – and cost. One of the key findings of the survey is that of the CIO’s who have adopted a hybrid approach, 75% say that their IT processes are less complex after migration.

This HCM expert I spoke with shared his thoughts about migrations, among some other key insights, during a recent extensive interview with insiderPROFILES. Look for a full Q&A of the interview in the October issue of insiderPROFILES.

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