It might seem like everyone is moving towards cloud deployments flawlessly, but no transition is going to be bump-free. According to CDW, a technology solutions company, organizations struggle the most with migration and integration. In their Cloud 401: Navigating Advanced Topics in Cloud Computing Study, survey respondents reiterated what they’ve been saying for years: Reliability is critical. The survey is designed to identify challenges and successes that companies face when embracing new cloud solutions. Over 1,200 IT workers in a number of industries responded, noting their experiences in everything from data to application services.
By far, the biggest obstacles were migration and integration—a whopping 59 percent said they would like to take advantage of more cloud services. However, the migration and integration were just too complex and time consuming. Many respondents said they felt “held back” by the complicated process. Worse, a majority of respondents said they thought cloud services were overall affordable to purchase but turned costly when it came to integration.
Getting Their Heads in the Clouds
However, just because organizations are wary of the integration and migration steps, that doesn’t mean they’re opting out of cloud services. Over 33 percent of IT services involve the cloud according to the survey. Plus, respondents said they’re going to keep integrating cloud. It’s expected that 35 percent of all new IT services will involve cloud technology.
According to the CP of cloud and managed solutions at CDW, Stephen Braat, “This study provides a clear understanding of where cloud computing is most widely adopted along with the hurdles organizations encounter in adding cloud to their IT mix. Cloud services have such great appeal that departments outside IT are often sourcing them independently, but rather than diminishing IT’s role, the data suggests that IT has a more critical role than ever: Integrating cloud with traditional services and architecting for reliability and continuity of service regardless of delivery mode.”
Easy Does It
It’s no surprise that businesses choose cloud solutions that are easiest to implement first. According to respondents, this usually means web hosting and email. It’s pretty simple to transition to cloud-based web hosting: You simply choose a web host that offers it and they’ll take care of everything. That’s a lot easier than integrating CR management, marketing automation or enterprise resource planning cloud solutions.
However, respondents did note that implementations gets faster and simpler with practice. The survey reveals that the very first cloud implementation averaged respondents 14 weeks, but following implementations took just 10 weeks. A little more practice, and the average time was whittled down to six weeks.
No matter how long the transition took, respondents say that reliability is their most important factor. In fact, it was ranked as the most critical component by 43 percent of respondents. The runner up was lowest total cost at 25 percent. Unfortunately, 75 percent of respondents noted that they had at least one cloud vendor who didn’t meet service agreements or contracts—which is probably why reliability is so important.
Security is another major priority, even though the survey found that only 28 percent of IT professionals considered it their biggest “problem child.” Braat says that, “Security is always going to be a top concern for IT with any service, but securing IT assets in the cloud doesn’t have to be a dramatic departure from securing assets locally.” Security also butts up against costs, since 53 percent of respondent revealed that when they did their financial cloud cost modeling, they were off by over 10 percent.
Security, reliability, ease of transition and costs. Those are the big players when it comes to cloud embracement, and it really comes down to the quality of the vendors you select.