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Cloud Computing is nothing if not a disruptive technology. Since it has entered the marketplace many have embraced it with open arms, believing the much-touted promises of costs savings, increased agility, and substantial competitive advantage. These promises have driven organisations to the technology in their droves; recent figures from the Cloud Industry Forum show some that 84 per cent of businesses are now using cloud services in their organisation.
However, although presented as an IT cure-all, the cloud also presents some challenges; the era of the ‘Cloud Hangover’ has begun.
The Greatest Shift in IT Operations
That is not to say, however, that the cloud has been anything but a seismic shift in the IT landscape. The benefits of cloud computing span all facets of an organisation, enabling a shift from capital intensive to operational cost models, greater efficiency and agility, and the potential for reduced complexity. However, look more closely, and it becomes clear that the journey to the cloud is not always a simple one.
Interoperability, availability and cloud-related operational expenditure are among the serious concerns IT departments now face as they battle with the Cloud Hangover.
Recent research from Sungard Availability Services found that this hangover is costing European businesses an average of more than £2 billion; with the overwhelming majority of businesses (81 per cent) in the UK, Ireland, France and Sweden having encountered some form of unplanned cloud spending.
Not only is each organisation within these countries paying an average of £240,000 per year to ensure cloud services run effectively, but they have also spent an additional £320,000 over the last five years thanks to unforeseen costs such as people, internal maintenance and systems integration.
Seeing Through the Hype
Businesses are complex entities and as a result their infrastructure requirements are complex as well. In short, it’s about picking the right platforms for the right applications.
“Organisations need to recognise cloud computing not as a technical achievement, but as a tool to deliver a specific, individual business outcome. There is no doubt that cloud can be as positive as the hype suggests, (with 64 percent of businesses enjoying increased agility, 53% experiencing cost reductions, and 44% improving response to customer and market demands), but it requires a sensible and pragmatic approach to achieve the transformational outcomes that many have seen.”
To find out more about the #CloudHangover
Read the full whitepaper here and take the quiz to see where you are at in the cloud party.
 About the research Interviews were carried out in February 2015 by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Sungard Availability Services. 400 interviews were conducted altogether: 150 from the UK, 150 from France and 50 each from Sweden and Ireland. The research spoke to IT decision makers in businesses of over 500 employees in the UK, France and Sweden and 250 in Ireland across a variety of sectors – including 66 decision makers from financial services organisations.
This article first appeared in the techUK Guest Blog on June 24 2015.