Research Suggests Doubts Persist over Cloud Cost, Integration, and Flexibility

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In a survey and research, The Future of Hybrid Cloud, highlights that while enterprises are moving to cloud — it’s not a smooth transition as some like to proclaim.

The survey of 400 IT directors and strategists across the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands, conducted by recent firm Quocirca on behalf of enterprise cloud services provider Nutanix, the survey confirmed what we already knew: most organizations today use some cloud to some degree.

That doesn’t mean, as this survey found, serious concerns over integration, total cost of ownership, and (no big surprise) security.

“While many progressive CIOs proclaim that their organizations look at cloud as the default option when deploying new services, just 12 percent of survey respondents say they have adopted a ‘’cloud first” posture,” they wrote in their news release. “While the message championed by many interested parties is that the world is moving to various clouds, our numbers paint a more complex picture,” said Chris Kaddaras, vice president and head of EMEA, Nutanix. “Beware of generalizations: organizations are still in the process of moving certain workloads to certain types of cloud environment and this is far from being a full-scale migration.”

My reporting has indicated that while most organizations don’t have an outright “cloud first” internal mandate, the do seek the most cost effective, scalable, and agile technologies that they can find and that often does, in fact, point to cloud. By as Kaddaras pointed out in their press release, there “there are still wrinkles to iron out.”

“We are still at the early stages of cloud, and organizations are finding that not all workloads are cloud-ready, and that their own staff are not quite as cloud-savvy as they hoped. But our research shows the thirst for cloud is there, and suggests that those moving towards a well-architected mixture of private and public cloud are the ones gaining the best overall competitive advantages,” says Clive Longbottom, service director at research and analysis firm Quocirca.

Key findings from the report found: 

  • Of respondents who said they had moved to cloud to enable faster delivery of new or incremental functionality to their businesses, just 39 per cent said this expectation had been fully met, while eight percent said it had not been met at all. 
  • Only a small minority of respondents see the ability to move capital expenditures to operating expenditures in the public cloud as a priority, and just 17 percent of those who did have had their expectations fully met. 
  • The most commonly cited changes that would make respondents embrace cloud platforms quicker all related to integration: API automation to integrate different platforms, followed by greater ease of moving workloads across platforms and intelligent automation of workload management. 
  • Data sovereignty and security is the top cited business reason why organizations are not adopting hybrid cloud more rapidly.

While those highlights are accurate – they don’t tell the complete picture. Some organizations with which I’ve spoke held unrealistic expectations about cost savings and those that were most disappointed with their cloud adoption also held unrealistic expectations about the ease at which they could move to cloud. Many found they had to invest considerable to clean up their mess of on-premises systems before moving to the cloud. A process that proved worthwhile, but has also slowed down the migration and increased costs for a sizable amount of enterprises.

And the most to cloud isn’t slowing down. Not if one looks at software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, or infrastructure as a cloud services. Recently, research firm Gartner Inc. had to up its estimates of the Software-as-a-Service market reached to $48.2 billion in 2016. And that research firm expects the total, global, public cloud market to grow 18.5 percent this year, and hit $260.2 billion from $219.6 billion last year. The highest revenue growth will come from cloud system Infrastructure as a Service, (IaaS), which Gartner says is projected to grow 36.6 percent in 2017 and hit $34.7 billion.

Overall, cloud is growing much more quickly that the global economy and more than traditional IT. While cloud is still a smaller segment than legacy IT — it wouldn’t continue to grow so rapidly if organizations weren’t reaping value.

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