When companies move operations to the cloud, they no doubt expect to see benefits such as reduced costs and more agility. But, do these expectations turn into reality?
To answer this question, researchers at Accenture surveyed companies that have moved their operations to the cloud. In response to the survey, ZDNet staff decided to conduct its own research by interviewing a panel of senior IT executives. Here’s what Accenture and ZDNet found.
To determine whether moving to the cloud is as beneficial as expected, Accenture researchers surveyed 200 senior IT executives (CIOs, VPs, and directors) at companies using public, private, and hybrid clouds.
The executives were asked to specify the degree to which their organizations have achieved the expected benefits of reduced costs, increased speed to market, better ability to meet business goals, and improved service levels. The executives were also asked to rate their level of satisfaction with the realized benefits and any barriers they encountered while trying to achieve them.
The researchers discovered that while almost all (96%) of the companies achieved the four expected benefits to some extent, only 35% have fully achieved all four benefits. Factors that appear to influence whether businesses are realizing the full benefits are:
Degree of adoption. Not surprisingly, companies with mature cloud deployments have fully realized the desired benefits more often than businesses that are just beginning or at an intermediate stage of cloud adoption.
Type of cloud. Only 28% of the companies with private clouds are fully achieving the benefits compared to 42% of businesses with public clouds and 38% of companies with hybrid clouds.
The top two barriers to fully realizing the benefits are “security and compliance risk” (65%) and “complexity of business and organizational change” (55%).
Interestingly, most of the surveyed IT executives were very satisfied (44%) or satisfied (49%) with the outcomes delivered. This has led the researchers to conclude that any degree of improvement is sufficient enough to clear the bar of minimum expectations.
After learning the results of the Accenture survey, the ZDNet staff wanted to see whether other companies are having similar experiences with their cloud deployments. It asked a panel of 12 senior IT executives (CIOs, VPs, directors, and others) if their companies’ cloud deployments are living up to their expectations. Half of them reported that they aren’t seeing the expected benefits.
However, this doesn’t mean these businesses aren’t finding high-value cloud services or providers, according to one of the panelists. “One misperception is that [the] cloud is simple and you just connect to it,” he noted. “Like premises-based services, it is a complex ecosystem that is ever-evolving (faster, hopefully). It takes ongoing diligence to get it right.”
To close the gap between the expected benefits and reality of cloud deployment, your company needs to:
Prepare. A key step when migrating operations to the cloud is to define the goals for the cloud deployment and assess your company’s ability and available resources (including staff) to meet those goals. This assessment will highlight the gap between what you expect and what is realistically possible at that time so you can find ways to close it. The assessment can also help your business deal with the complexity of organizational change before it becomes a barrier.
Manage the security risks. With cyberattacks growing in number and sophistication, companies need to manage the security risks associated with cloud computing before those risks become obstacles. This can then help mitigate the risk of not complying with applicable privacy regulations. To manage the security risks, you need to understand the threats that your organization faces in the cloud and develop a security strategy to deal with them. You also need to put systems and procedures in place to detect attacks and minimize the damage that hackers can do if an attack occurs.
Get the help you need. Businesses often do not have the expertise needed to close the gap between expectations and reality. Unfortunately, organizations typically realize they lack the necessary cloud skills when performing the actual migration, according to a study conducted by Forrester. To achieve the best possible outcomes, cloud expertise should be sought early on.
Finding an experienced partner will help you fully realize the benefits of moving your company’s operations to the cloud. Synoptek’s cloud specialists can guide you through planning, securing, and managing your deployment.
Consult with a cloud expert so that you may fully reap the benefits of your cloud infrastructure.