Why Cloud Repatriation is on the Rise and How to Achieve a Successful Hybrid

Cloud repatriation is the process of moving some or all of your cloud-based workloads back to on-premises infrastructures. It may sound counterintuitive, but it is a growing trend among organizations that have experienced challenges or disappointments with their cloud projects.


In this blog post, we will explore the drivers and experiences of cloud repatriation, the benefits and risks of hybrid cloud infrastructures, and the best practices for achieving a successful hybrid strategy.

What Drives Cloud Repatriation?

According to a recent study by Citrix, a business unit of Cloud Software Group, 42% of organizations surveyed in the United States are considering or already have moved at least half of their cloud-based workloads back to on-premises infrastructures. The survey, which questioned 350 IT leaders in the United States on their current hybrid cloud strategies, showed that 94% of respondents had been involved with a cloud repatriation project in the last three years.

The main drivers for cloud repatriation were unexpected security issues (41%), high project expectations (29%), and failure to meet or properly set internal expectations (23%). After reflecting on their experience, IT leaders found that the most common reasons for cloud repatriation projects were:

  • Security concerns: Cloud environments pose different or additional security risks than on-premises environments, such as data breaches, unauthorized access, or compliance violations.
  • Unexpected costs: Cloud services have hidden or variable costs that can quickly add up, such as data transfer fees, storage costs, or licensing fees.
  • Performance issues: These services have latency, bandwidth, or availability issues that can affect the performance or reliability of your applications or data.
  • Compatibility problems: Cloud services have compatibility or integration issues with your existing systems, applications, or data formats, requiring additional effort or resources to resolve.
  • Service downtime: Cloud services have outages or disruptions that can affect your business continuity or customer satisfaction.

What are the Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructures?

Despite the challenges of cloud projects, 70% of respondents in Citrix’s study are still encouraged to start new projects in the future. Instead of a complete cloud approach, IT leaders would recommend a mix of ‘mostly cloud and some on-premises’ to the CIO.

Hybrid cloud infrastructures offer the best of both worlds across both public and private models. Organizations can optimize costs, seamlessly integrate systems, and experiment with innovation projects without compromising on agility or flexibility.

Some of the benefits of hybrid cloud infrastructures are:

  • Cost optimization: Hybrid cloud infrastructures allow you to choose the most cost-effective option for each workload, whether it is cloud or on-premises. You can also leverage cloud services for peak demand or temporary needs, while keeping your core or sensitive workloads on-premises.
  • System integration: This allow you to connect your cloud and on-premises systems, applications, and data, enabling data sharing, collaboration, and automation. You can also leverage cloud services for enhancing or extending your on-premises capabilities, such as analytics, artificial intelligence, or machine learning.
  • Innovation experimentation: This enables test and deploy new ideas or technologies in the cloud, without affecting your on-premises environment. You can also leverage cloud services for scaling or accelerating your innovation projects, such as development, testing, or prototyping.

How to Achieve a Successful Hybrid Strategy?

As IT leaders consider utilizing a hybrid strategy, a key consideration is whether cloud or on-premises is the most secure for safeguarding sensitive information. In Citrix’s study, 31% of respondents stated that they had fallen victim to the same number of cyberattacks regardless of whether data and applications were hosted on-premises or in a hybrid environment. The experience of security vulnerabilities varied among different organizations, with some reporting fewer incidents on-premises while others experienced more.

Security is a top priority, and 93% of IT leaders agreed that cloud technologies can help prevent cybersecurity incidents. However, moving workloads and cloud repatriation projects can pose a risk, and IT leaders are worried that these projects could make them vulnerable to a cyberattack.

With benefits and risks to both cloud and on-premises infrastructures, 50% of these IT leaders currently have projects in both cloud and on-premises. To achieve a successful hybrid strategy, IT leaders need to follow some best practices, such as:

  • Assess your workloads: Before moving or repatriating any workloads, you need to assess your current and future needs, such as performance, security, compliance, scalability, or availability. You also need to evaluate the costs and benefits of each option, whether it is cloud or on-premises.
  • Choose the right cloud provider: Not all cloud providers are the same, and you need to choose the one that best suits your needs and expectations. You need to consider factors such as service quality, reliability, compatibility, support, or pricing. You also need to review the terms and conditions of the cloud provider, such as data ownership, privacy, or exit clauses.
  • Implement a hybrid cloud management platform: To effectively manage your hybrid cloud infrastructures, you need a platform that can provide visibility, control, and automation across your cloud and on-premises environments. You need a platform that can monitor, optimize, and secure your workloads, as well as enable self-service, orchestration, and governance.
  • Train and educate your staff: To successfully execute your hybrid strategy, you need to train and educate your staff on the best practices and tools for managing your hybrid cloud infrastructures. You need to ensure that your staff have the skills and knowledge to handle the complexities and challenges of hybrid cloud environments.

“It’s clear that IT leaders are still trying to find the right balance between cloud and on-premises,” said Calvin Hsu, Vice President of Product Management at Citrix. “With evolving demands and unexpected changes to priorities, enterprises need a model that allows them to scale resources up or down as required while maintaining security, compliance, and business performance.”


Cloud repatriation is a phenomenon that reflects the realities and challenges of cloud projects. It is not a sign of failure, but a sign of learning and adaptation. Hybrid cloud infrastructures offer a flexible and optimal solution for organizations that want to leverage the benefits of both cloud and on-premises models. However, to achieve a successful hybrid strategy, IT leaders need to follow some best practices and use the right tools and platforms.

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