The enterprise needs to be more realistic about the benefits cloud can bring, with research suggesting four in ten ICT decision-makers feel their deployments fail to live up to the hype.
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That’s according to the findings of NTT Communications’ Cloud Reality Check 2015 report, which featured responses from 1,580 ICT decision-makers from across Europe and the US.
The picture painted by the report suggests that – despite cloud becoming an increasingly accepted way of delivering IT to the enterprise – confusion abounds about what apps should go where and how best to manage suppliers.
Len Padilla, vice-president of product strategy at cloud services provider NTT, said one of the biggest misconceptions users have about cloud is the idea that all their apps and workloads will one day move there.
“They need to recognise there are things for regulatory compliance, security and application availability reasons that are always going to need to stay closer to the corporate datacentre,” Padilla said.
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Enterprises not ready for cloud migration
Another part of the problem is many firms fail to appreciate how much preparatory work they need to do to make their cloud migration projects a success.
“Initially, people thought they were just going to be able to magically upload their code, things would run and they wouldn’t have to worry about anything, but not all companies are really shaped in a way that lets them take advantage of cloud,” said Padilla.
“They might not be set up to cope with the variable and dynamic costs of cloud, and their procurement departments might not be ready to run platforms on a bunch of different environments.”
Some users are labouring under the misconception that moving to the cloud needs to happen all at once, he added – even if not all their apps and workloads are ready to go off-premise yet.
No place for PaaS
The survey also shed some light on the types of cloud environments ICT decision makers prefer to run their most important apps on, with private infrastructure as a service (private IaaS) emerging as the most popular among those surveyed with 33% of the vote.
This was followed by software as a service (SaaS) (19%); managed hosting (18%); public IaaS (15%); platform as a service (PaaS) (10%); and co-location (5%).
The report highlighted a lack of support for PaaS, with the authors hailing it as proof that it has so far failed to capture the imagination of ICT decision-makers when considering where best to run their apps.
“As the appetite for mobility and big data insights grows, the picture could change. However, at least for now, our results suggest that PaaS providers still have a long way to go to build confidence in this platform in the enterprise,” the NTT Communications report states.
Legacy puts up obstacles to cloud adoption
PaaS can be difficult for long-established companies to adopt as they have so much legacy technology still in use. This makes cloud a better fit for startups.
But for enterprises keen to rid themselves of the hassle of building and maintaining their own app deployment infrastructure, the PaaS approach has a number of benefits.
“It means they can focus on whatever the business problem is at hand, and stop thinking about managing installations of the run-time and having to care for and feed their own application servers,” said Padilla.
“There is a lot to be gained from this approach, but it does require a very different mindset – the enterprise will need to get used to not having the same level of control as it may be used to.”