Companies such as VMware (VMW), Red Hat (RHT) and Rackspace (RAX) have been promoting hybrid cloud computing as the next big thing in the channel, and calling for providers to design solutions for hybrid clouds.  Are they right?

According to IT research firm Gartner, Inc., about half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017, pointing out that hybrid cloud computing is at the same place today that private cloud was three years ago.

Gartner said private cloud computing is a key driver in hybrid cloud computing's success, and stated that private cloud computing has moved from an aspiration to a tentative reality for nearly half of large enterprises.

The IT research firm said technology should not be the major issue for organizations when it comes to private cloud computing. While technologies are important, organizations may want to shift focus to the transformational adjustments needed to use that technology.

Gartner Vice President and Analyst Thomas Bittman said in a prepared statement that "technology itself does not solve the transformational people and process issues."

"It is much better to focus first on an approach to make transformative changes. In many cases, that means creating a separate organization outside of traditional IT processes — at least to incubate these projects — and focusing first on a simple project that has buy-in between IT and IT's customers," he said.

Gartner suggested that organizations should select technology that allows room for expansion. Pilots for cloud services tend to start small, but organizations should be able to expand upon current, existing technology, instead of purchasing additional technology.