Published: February 24th, 2015

Approximately 60 per cent of IT professionals and decision makers would make more use of cloud services, but the complexity they perceive around enabling and integrating those workloads with legacy systems holds them back.

This was one of the key findings in a new report out from CDN Top 100 Solution Provider CDW. The direct market reseller surveyed more than 1,200 IT professionals across many industries for the report titled: “Cloud 401: Navigating Advanced Topics in Cloud Computing.”

Beyond complexity, security remains a top concern for IT with any service, said Stephen Braat, vice president, cloud and managed solutions at CDW.

Security of cloud services remains a top priority, although just 28 per cent of respondents identified security as the largest source of problems for their current cloud services. “Security is always going to be a top concern for IT with any service,” Braat said, “but securing IT assets in the cloud doesn’t have to be a dramatic departure from securing assets locally.”

IT decision makers also identified migration and integration as a top challenge and they believe cloud services are inexpensive to buy, but can be expensive and difficult to integrate with traditional IT.

However, organizations are no longer just trying out cloud services. More than a third of IT services today are delivered partially or totally in the cloud. Looking ahead, the survey finds that organizations will continue to embrace the cloud, with respondents expecting that they will implement 35 per cent of new IT services in the cloud.

“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,” Braat said.

“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.”

One interesting data point from the study is among the wide range of cloud services available, organizations most frequently implement those that are simpler to transition. The survey identified storage, email and Web hosting services as the most widely delivered via cloud and easiest to transition.

On the other end of the spectrum, organizations identified enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management/marketing automation services as more difficult to deploy and less frequently delivered through the cloud.

The survey found that cloud implementation becomes easier with experience. Organizations reported that their initial cloud implementation took an average of 14 weeks to complete. Subsequent implementations took 10 weeks, on average, and more than half of the organizations responding said they now complete typical implementations in six weeks or less.

IT cloud professionals focus beyond the nuts and bolts of technical implementation, saying that reliability of service is key, as 43 per cent of organizations ranked it the most important attribute in a provider, significantly ahead of lowest total cost (just 25 per cent) and others. Still, more than three-fourths of cloud professionals said at least one of their cloud vendors has failed to meet a service level agreement (SLA).

Organizations also said that financial modeling of cloud costs and benefits can be tricky, as 53 per cent of respondents said their financial models were off by more than 10 per cent compared with actual experience.

 

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