The results of an independent, blind survey of 150 federal defense and civilian information technology decision makers conducted by Nutanix and Market Connections found the public-only approach to cloud computing is not as great as initially anticipated.

The public cloud, according to respondents, is unsuitable for certain workloads. The three least suitable applications were found to be: financials, according to 43 percent of respondents; custom or mission specific applications, with 36 percent; and human resources applications, with 34 percent.

In addition, the survey indicated a reluctance to transfer information to the public cloud. This reluctance stems from various concerns including data-ownership and privacy, a concern that 48 percent of respondents reported; security risks, concerning for 71 percent of respondents; and unpredictable costs, a concern for 19 percent of respondents.

Instead, the survey concluded that hybrid could models are the best method for modernizing and securing systems without incurring extra costs or concerns. With hybrid models, each agency can individualize their workloads by prioritizing different objectives to meet the needs of the agency, keeping applications unsuited for the public cloud private while still making use of the public cloud for applications with static, low-risk workloads including public-facing websites, email and data backup/recovery.

In addition, the survey indicated that the cost savings that are associated with the hybrid cloud method are twice as much as savings associated with individual use of public or private clouds.

“Federal agencies are realizing that a wholesale move to the public cloud is not always the best approach to meet their desired outcomes,” Chris Howard, vice president of federal at Nutanix, said in the study. “There is a clear opportunity to achieve the benefits of cloud with a hybrid approach, keeping predictable application workloads on-prem and using public cloud for dynamic applications that require extra capacity for finite periods of time.”