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Cloud Computing Strategy is Needed to Alleviate Growing Tensions
Forrester published a recent study entitled “Delivering on High Cloud Expectations“, the study reveals increasing tension between business and IT stakeholders. With a growing demand for public cloud services, CIOs are rightly concerned that business teams are willing to circumvent IT in order to acquire cloud services on their own. The survey included in-depth responses from 327 enterprise infrastructure executives and architects across the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
“This survey has helped us to pinpoint the pains felt by both the business and IT as they struggle to adapt IT strategies to the avalanche of public cloud consumption”
High expectations for speedy, low-cost implementation of new software systems in the cloud are putting unique pressures on IT departments within the enterprise. Initial findings of the survey reveal that while IT teams work to meet the needs of the business, the demand for more speed and agility is creating an environment in which business teams are looking outside the organization to provision services in public clouds. As a result, IT departments must expand plans to incorporate public cloud services into their overall cloud strategies.
“This survey has helped us to pinpoint the pains felt by both the business and IT as they struggle to adapt IT strategies to the avalanche of public cloud consumption,” said Mark Settle, BMC’s CIO. “The conclusion is that the need for a comprehensive, unified environment is becoming a top priority for business to connect everything – from the mainframe to the cloud.”
Key findings of the survey include:
According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents indicated that a comprehensive cloud strategy is a high priority for the next year; however, additional survey data suggest that firms are facing significant hurdles as they attempt to deliver. Consider:
- IT is struggling with significant complexity and that is not likely to change in the next two years, according to the study. Findings of the survey reveal that 39 percent of respondents reported having five or more virtual server pools, and 43 percent report three or more hypervisor technologies. Not surprisingly, the study also found cost reduction to be the top IT priority in the next twelve months, with complexity reduction being the top strategy for achieving savings.
- CIOs are concerned that business leaders see cloud computing as a way to circumvent IT. Among the CIOs surveyed, 72 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their business executives see cloud as a way to be independent of IT. The simultaneous pull of cost reduction and simplification in one direction and better, cheaper, faster in the other is putting a strain on IT’s ability to meet expectations. CIOs are becoming increasingly concerned that cloud provides a way around their strategies for simplification and cost reduction.
- The business is indeed willing to go around IT to get public cloud services today, contributing to IT complexity. Approximately 58 percent of respondents are running mission-critical workloads in the unmanaged public cloud regardless of policy, while only 36 percent have policies allowing this. Furthermore, respondents indicated that public clouds acquired by teams outside of IT are a top driver of complexity and risk.
- IT tacitly acknowledges that this public cloud acquisition cannot be effectively stopped. The survey revealed that 79 percent of respondents plan to support running mission-critical workloads on unmanaged public cloud services in the next two years, while only 36 percent allow this today. This indicates a growing acknowledgement that public cloud services must be a part of a comprehensive cloud strategy.
- IT feels that it should manage public cloud services, but realizes that providing high service levels will be difficult. Further, 71 percent of respondents thought that IT operations should be responsible for ensuring public cloud services meet their firm’s requirements for performance, security and availability, and 61 percent of the survey respondents agreed that it will be difficult to provide the same level of management across public and private cloud services.
- Interest in hybrid cloud reflects the broader need for unified management. When asked what type of cloud they were most interested in, the number one response from those surveyed, at 37 percent, was hybrid clouds running on a combination of internal and external infrastructures. This, together with the ubiquity of public cloud and the high degree of internal complexity firms are facing, underscores a need to take a unified systems management approach.
“CIOs sense the pressure that cloud is applying to their organizations and are prioritizing the creation of a comprehensive cloud strategy for their firms in the coming year,” according to the Forrester study. This strategy must create a path toward cloud in order to unify management across public and private, automate complexity and create transparency so the business and IT can have real conversations about cost.
The full study results will be announced on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 11 a.m. CDT as part of a BMC webinar. To register for the webinar in advance, click here.