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Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook 2016 reveals top enterprise technology trends and challenges

Private and hybrid cloud deployments expected to accelerate in 2016, while cutting costs, security and automation stand out as top IT challenges

As has become a bit of a tradition at Red Hat, we surveyed our customers about their priorities for the new year. Recently, we asked 727 Red Hat customers from around the globe and across industries about their priorities for 2016. Respondents represented 59 countries, and a wide range of organizations, from the Fortune 500 and large U.S. federal government agencies to small businesses, non-profits and everything in between.

The Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook 2016 revealed several key findings on important initiatives and priorities, cloud deployment strategies, and the adoption of emerging technologies like containers. Some of the findings speak to new areas of strategic focus, while others highlight continued need for IT to do more with less, even as the role of IT becomes more relevant and strategic to the organization's success.

Here’s what results from the Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook 2016 showed.

  • IT investments will be focused on creating more secure, modernized workloads, but we’ll also see big jumps in private cloud, DevOps, big data, mobile and IoT initiatives. Respondents are planning major IT initiatives focused on private cloud (53%), datacenter modernization (46%), and security (46%). They are also planning big jumps in DevOps (41% planning DevOps projects, vs. 34% which completed them in 2015), big data (35% planning big data projects vs. 28% which completed them in 2015), mobility (26% planning mobility projects vs. 20% which completed them in 2015); and Internet of Things (IoT) (19% planning IoT projects vs. 12% which completed them in 2015).

  • Cutting costs is IT’s top challenge in 2016. Nearly half of respondents (43%) identify this as their organization’s biggest challenge in the new year, next to improving security (38%) and automation (38%). Other challenges represent a mix of modernizing (29%) and accelerating existing IT (35%) while delivering innovation and new apps (32%) and deploying new cloud services (30%).

  • It’s a hybrid IT world, and will be even more so in the future. Survey responses revealed that a hybrid mix of both traditional and cloud environments is the reality for more than a majority of respondents (61%), with only 12% indicating no plans to manage both cloud and traditional environments. Remaining respondents are evaluating this hybrid approach (15%), or plan to have a hybrid environment in the near future (12%).

  • Private cloud deployments will outpace public cloud by 6x. Private (37%) and hybrid (31%) cloud strategies are trending far ahead of public cloud (6%) among the Red Hat customers surveyed. There appears to be a shift from public to private and hybrid as more enterprises implement their cloud strategy (6% of respondents identify public cloud as their strategy vs. 15% of respondents in Red Hat’s 2015 Customer Priorities Survey). However, a significant portion (26%) of respondents are still determining their cloud strategy (down from 32% of respondents in Red Hat’s 2015 Customer Priorities Survey).

  • OpenStack POCs and deployments are expected to accelerate in 2016. With cloud deployment strategies trending toward private clouds and OpenStack maturing, according to survey results, 39% of respondents plan to implement OpenStack proof of concepts (POCs) or production deployments in 2016.

  • Containers are moving beyond hype to deployment. In order to help developers deliver applications faster, 35% of respondents plan to roll out containers in next 12 months. And, 24% of respondents plan to deploy Platform-as-a-Service to help developers deliver applications faster. According to a June 2015 survey on container adoption plans (commissioned by Red Hat through TechValidate), 67% of respondents plan production deployments of containers in the next two years.

  • Virtualization remains both an investment and migration focus. 48% of respondents plan to optimize their virtualization environment, while 36% are working to migrate their virtualization.

  • Enterprises need to manage and secure petabytes of data. 17% of respondents expect to manage at least 500 terabytes to 1 petabyte of data in 2016, while only 17% plan to manage less than 50 TB. 29% of respondents predict their IT department will manage more than 1 PB of data in 2016.

Interested in the results? Download the Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook 2016 infographic.