SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization Finds North American IT Professionals Realizing Cost Benefits of Cloud, Challenged by Shifting Job Dynamics

The company’s annual study on the state of the IT industry dives deeper into the effects hybrid IT has had on organizations, highlighting that hybrid IT organizations are:

  • Moving applications, storage, and databases further into the cloud
  • Experiencing the cost efficiencies of the cloud
  • Building and expanding cloud roles and skillsets for IT professionals
  • Increasing in complexity and lacking visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure

AUSTIN, Texas – March 29, 2017 – SolarWinds, a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today revealed the findings of its SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization. For 2017, SolarWinds’ annual state-of-the-industry study explores the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating the cloud, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organizations and IT job roles.

Overall, organizations in North America are moving further into the cloud, with 95 percent reporting they have migrated critical applications and infrastructure over the past year. However, while nearly 60 percent said they have experienced the expected benefits of the cloud, hybrid IT is increasing the complexity of IT roles, and introducing challenges such as a lack of visibility between on-premises and cloud infrastructure, as well as the need to develop new skillsets to keep pace with changing environments.

“No job is more affected by ongoing technology disruptions than the role of the IT professional, which is why we explore these dynamics year after year,” said Joe Kim, senior vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds. “By creating this portrait of today’s hybrid IT organization, we get to the heart of the shifts occurring so we can better understand and cater to the unique needs of these unsung heroes of business. For today’s IT professionals, it’s absolutely critical not only to put the right solutions in place to best manage hybrid IT environments, but to prepare organizations—and themselves—for continued technology advancements, even as we move beyond cloud.”

2017 Key Findings

The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals. Key findings show that today’s hybrid IT organizations are:

  1. Moving applications, storage, and databases further into the cloud.
    • In the past 12 months, IT professionals have migrated applications (74 percent), storage (50 percent), and databases (35 percent) to the cloud more than any other areas of IT.
    • By weighted rank, the top three reasons for prioritizing these areas of their IT environments for migration were greatest potential for ROI/cost efficiency, availability, and elastic scalability, respectively.
  2. Experiencing the cost efficiencies of the cloud.
    • Nearly all (95 percent) organizations have migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year, yet over two-thirds (69 percent) spend less than 40 percent of their annual IT budgets on cloud technology.
    • Nearly half (45 percent) of organizations spend 70 percent or more of their annual IT budgets on on-premises (traditional) applications and infrastructure.
    • Nearly three in five (59 percent) organizations have received either most or all expected cloud benefits (i.e., cost efficiency, availability, and scalability).
    • Cost efficiency is at times not enough to justify migration to the cloud: 35 percent migrated areas to the cloud that were ultimately brought back on-premises due mostly to security/compliance issues and poor performance.
  3. Building and expanding cloud roles and skillsets for IT professionals.
    • Over three-fifths (62 percent) of IT professionals indicated that hybrid IT has required them to acquire new skills, while 11 percent said it has altered their career path.
    • Nearly three-fifths (57 percent) of organizations have already hired/reassigned IT personnel, or plan to do so, for the specific purpose of managing cloud technologies.
    • The top cloud-related skill IT professionals improved over the past 12 months was monitoring/management tools and metrics (38 percent).
    • Sixty-three percent said an IT staff skills gap was one of the five biggest hybrid IT challenges, while 46 percent said increased workload/responsibilities.
    • Nearly half (46 percent) do not believe that IT professionals entering the workforce now possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments.
  4. Increasing in complexity and lacking visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure.
    • Seven out of ten (69 percent) said their organizations currently use up to three cloud provider environments, with the largest percentage using two to three; however, one out of every 10 (9 percent) uses 10 or more.
    • By weighted rank, the number one challenge created by hybrid IT is increased infrastructure complexity, followed by lack of control/visibility into the performance of cloud-based applications and infrastructure.

To explore and interact with all of the 2017 findings, please visit the SolarWinds IT Trends Index, a dynamic web experience that presents the study’s findings by region, including charts, graphs, socially shareable elements, and additional insights into the data.

The findings of this year’s North American report are based on a survey fielded in December 2016, which yielded responses from 205 IT practitioners, managers, and directors in the U.S. and Canada from public and private sector small, mid-size, and enterprise companies whose organizations are leveraging cloud-based services for at least some IT infrastructure. All regions studied in 2017, as reported on the SolarWinds IT Trends Index, were North America, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, with 868 respondents across all geographies combined.

Additional Resources

Connect with SolarWinds

About SolarWinds

SolarWinds provides powerful and affordable IT management software to customers worldwide, from Fortune 500® enterprises to small businesses, managed service providers (MSPs), government agencies, and educational institutions. We are committed to focusing exclusively on IT, MSP, and DevOps professionals, and strive to eliminate the complexity that our customers have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. Regardless of where the IT asset or user sits, SolarWinds delivers products that are easy to find, buy, use, maintain, and scale while providing the power to address key areas of the infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud. This focus and commitment to excellence in end-to-end hybrid IT performance management has established SolarWinds as the worldwide leader in both network management software and MSP solutions, and is driving similar growth across the full spectrum of IT management software. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our THWACK online community to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process. Learn more today at

The SolarWinds, SolarWinds & Design, Orion, and THWACK trademarks are the exclusive property of SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC or its affiliates, are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and may be registered or pending registration in other countries. All other SolarWinds trademarks, service marks, and logos may be common law marks or are registered or pending registration. All other trademarks mentioned herein are used for identification purposes only and are trademarks of (and may be registered trademarks) of their respective companies.

© 2017 SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC.  All rights reserved. 


Nicole Fachet
Phone: 212.871.3950
Jenne Barbour
Phone: 512.498.6804