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If you talk to a CIO, you’re likely to come away thinking that the hybrid cloud is one of the most critical areas of investment that will define their IT strategy over the next decade. But what does hybrid cloud actually mean?

A lot of the current focus and energy in the market revolves around three related but distinct hybrid cloud value propositions: the ability to seamlessly integrate cloud infrastructure from multiple vendors, to move workloads and data between on-premise systems and a public cloud, and to extend cloud capabilities to edge computing environments.

If you listen to cloud providers, you’ll hear a lot about multicloud and edge. The truth is that today’s hybrid cloud deployments focus mainly on the simpler and more practical need: applying public cloud resources to legacy data and applications.

The multicloud value proposition is more a dream than a reality at this point. Two out of three CIOs indicate they plan to use multiple public cloud infrastructure providers to avoid vendor lock-in and control costs, according to Bain & Company’s Covid-19 IT Buyer Survey. However, when we look at actual spending, very few companies have succeeded in doing so. Companies use many clouds when it comes to their software-as-a-service applications. But looking just at their computing infrastructure—which is most relevant to hybrid cloud purchase decisions—more than 70% of companies are using only one provider. Those who do use multiple public clouds spend more than 90% of their public cloud budget with a single vendor

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