The move to the cloud is something that has been high on the business agenda in recent years, but the complexity involved in moving has created significant stumbling blocks for organizations.
According to the CIF, 63 percent of businesses aim to move their entire IT infrastructure into the cloud eventually. Whilst RightScale says 95 percent of businesses use the cloud in some capacity, it’s proving difficult for organizations to move all of their applications and data into the cloud. In fact, Fuze revealed that only 10 percent of UK companies have moved entirely off site.
Digital transformation is no longer simply a buzzword, but is rather a tangible journey millions of businesses are taking, using technology to streamline and improve processes, increase productivity and ultimately improve profitability. It’s widely recognized that moving to the cloud is the first step on this journey, as businesses begin to shift from physical server storage to storing data in the cloud. The cloud itself has seen a revolution, with the advent of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) taking its capabilities far beyond simple data storage.
Few businesses have yet to adopt the cloud at all, and those that haven’t run the risk of falling behind the competition. A June 2015 report by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation showed that executives expect that 4 out of the current 10 market leaders will be replaced by new businesses who focus on agility and innovation by 2020.
A recent Oracle survey revealed some of the key pain points for business owners and IT decision makers in the shift to the cloud. A failure to align business goals with IT projects is a barrier for 62 percent of executives and IT leaders. This is further reflected in the issue of legacy systems that prevent 47 percent of respondents from making the most of integrated cloud services. These systems are often purchased without the knowledge or input of the IT department, meaning the applications often aren’t compatible with existing applications, systems or even infrastructure.
Additional barriers include shadow IT purchasing, which is often the case with finance and HR departments on outdated systems, and a lack of understanding around the business. 41 percent of those surveyed said they faced significant resistance from other departments around the business which stemmed from a lack of understanding around the cloud. The security of the cloud is a worry for people; 34 percent are concerned about this perceived security risk.
The future of cloud adoption is looking brighter, however, as this negative attitude around the security of the cloud is lessening and adoption is increasing according to RightScale’s Cloud Computing Trends: 2017 State of the Cloud Survey. Now only a quarter of people have major concerns around the security of the cloud, which could be attributed to a better understanding of the cloud, or to technologies like Office 365, which puts security at the heart of its functionalities.
More companies than ever are now running applications and workloads in the cloud too; 79 percent of businesses run applications in either public or private clouds, indicating a clear shift away from the traditional on premise server model. The RightScale survey also showed that businesses are focusing on cloud initiatives in 2017, including optimizing their current usage of the cloud, which 53 percent cited as a key priority for 2017. A substantial 40 percent said they were looking at implementing a cloud first strategy in the near future, which is a critical step towards migrating the entire IT estate to the cloud.
It’s clear that the move to the cloud isn’t a straightforward one; existing systems, and particularly those outdated legacy systems, need to be taken into consideration. Whilst it may be some time before we see a significant number of businesses operating solely in the cloud, the results from RightScale’s Cloud Computing Trends: 2017 State of the Cloud Survey show that IT leaders and business owners are putting the cloud at the heart of business and IT strategy.
By Natasha Bougourd