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Cloud Hangover

The Cloud Hangover Continues as UK Businesses Suffer Complexity Headache

17th June 2015

Research from Sungard Availability Services suggests UK organisations need to focus on inevitable need for Hybrid IT approach when adopting cloud computing

London, United Kingdom: Sungard Availability Services® (Sungard AS), a leading provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, today announces research revealing that nearly half of organisations believe that deploying cloud solutions has increased the complexity of their IT environment. These findings lead on from the recent revelations that the ‘Cloud Hangover’ is costing UK businesses over £1bn every year. The research questioned 150 senior IT decision makers in the UK in organisations with more than 500 employees*.

Despite being perceived by many as an IT cure-all for complex and sprawling legacy systems, cloud computing has not been the silver-bullet many anticipated. While decreasing the IT team’s day-to-day maintenance was a key driver in cloud adoption for 45 per cent of business, over a third (35 per cent) of IT decision makers said that adopting cloud services has made their job more complex.

Increasing Sophistication, Increasing Stress

The findings revealed that cloud adoption has in fact left organisations facing more complexity than ever before. 37 per cent of IT decision makers complained that the cloud has made their job more stressful while just under a quarter (24 per cent) added that their role is now more difficult since deploying cloud. In fact, 70 per cent of businesses believe that cloud computing has simply added a new set of challenges and complexity to their workload.

Part of the problem may result from an increase in cloud suppliers, with over half of respondents (55 per cent) admitting to using three or more separate cloud platforms. Running so many systems is clearly taking its toll on organisations – with a quarter of respondents (25 per cent) confessing to concerns that their organisation uses too many platforms.

Causes of complexity

Some of the complexity challenges highlighted in the research include:

  • 65 per cent of UK organisations said that integrating cloud with legacy IT was one of their biggest IT challenges
  • 56 per cent agreed that they are now paying more to ensure the IT estate remains tightly integrated
  • 39 per cent are finding it difficult to marry cloud deployments with business objectives
  • Over a fifth (23 per cent) had issues in managing multiple cloud silos.

 

Commenting on the findings, Keith Tilley, Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Customer Services Management at Sungard Availability Services, said: “First cost and now complexity – is it any wonder that organisations have been left somewhat disappointed in their cloud deployments and are now rethinking their strategy?

 “In many cases, cloud computing was presented as a silver bullet for the CIO, a way to cut down on administrative processes and allow IT departments to invest their time and resource in innovation and demonstrating technology’s role as a business enabler. Instead we can see that IT departments have as much admin work as ever before, if not more. The cloud hasn’t eliminated this maintenance work, and in fact, could even be said to have added more pressures for staff when ensuring that the system remains available.

 “And with new research from the Cloud Industry Forum revealing that 84 per cent of businesses are now using cloud services in their organisation[1], concerns over the implications of the Cloud Hangover are growing.

“Of course when deployed in the correct situations cloud computing can have a positive impact – helping over three quarters (77 per cent) of organisations increase business agility, 67 per cent their overall availability and 43 per cent improve their response to customer and market demands.”

— Keith Tilley, EVP, Global Sales & Customer Services Management, Sungard AS

 “However, despite the benefits there is still some education to be done in ensuring the market takes a realistic view of cloud. For most organisations, the challenge of deploying cloud correctly – as part of a Hybrid IT strategy that encompasses the whole IT estate – means that going it alone is not an option. Working with managed services providers can help businesses adopt a tailored approach to their IT, working with both their legacy environments and cloud systems, to create an environment that is not too complex to manage.”

“Our firm has always taken a conservative approach to cloud; recognising that while it can be a useful tool for business, we need to balance moving to the cloud alongside risk and the need to continue running business critical and legacy systems which are not in the cloud. Working with a technology partner has been crucial in developing our Hybrid IT solution, as well as simply understanding our organisation’s requirements. A partner can not only help in advising on the best solution for a business, but can also integrate that solution while taking a holistic view of the technology estate – ensuring it is optimised for the present while allowing for expansion and development in the future.”

— John Turner, IT Director, BDO LLP

Kate Hanaghan, Research Director, Infrastructure Services at TechMarketView commented: “I talk about the phenomenon of the slow burning cloud”, or in other words, while some activities (e.g. cloud native applications, or IaaS for test and dev) can be relatively straightforward to implement, moving sprawling legacy business applications into the cloud is a different beast entirely. The reality, therefore, is that most mainstream organisations will seek to migrate these into the cloud over the coming years, not months. Their challenge is not just in identifying the suppliers and technologies that can enable this, it is overcoming the not insignificant internal hurdles – for example, concerns around the risks associated with migration to an off-premise environment – and of course, the cost.”  

The full report is available to download here.

 

*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 financial services, business process management and retail.

The term ‘Cloud Computing’ was defined in the following ways:

  • Private cloud – the cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.
  • Public cloud – the cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.

[1] http://cloudindustryforum.org/news/827-uk-cloud-adoption-rate-climbs-to-84-finds-new-research-from-the-cloud-industry-forum