This article is part of our Essential Guide: A CIO guide to the service cloud

Lack of in-house skills stymies IaaS migration, says report

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) supplier Reconnix says most businesses fear they lack the skills to move to the cloud

Open-source infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) specialist Reconnix said most IT leaders still fear moving from traditional server and hosting environments to IaaS.

A year after it issued a report making similar claims, Reconnix published a report suggesting senior IT managers fear cloud migration because they lack the in-house skills for it.

Over 80% of 100 respondents to Reconnix’s survey said they were not ready to migrate, compared to 10% who said they were – and just 8% who had migrated, or were currently doing so.

Only 7% said they were confident they could call on all the necessary skills to manage applications running in IaaS environments from within their businesses.

In spite of the concern over availability of skills, 88% of the respondents said moving applications away from traditional server environments into the cloud was a top, high or medium priority.

Planned buying and management behaviour reflected these findings, with only 26% planning to buy directly from the supplier and two-thirds planning to engage third-party consultants or channel businesses to help them through the process.

Reconnix CTO Steve Nice noted a “clear desire for business to move away from traditional environments and towards IaaS providers”.

“It’s natural for many businesses to err on the side of caution, but this conservative approach can mean that many are missing out on the transformative benefits of the cloud,” said Nice.

“It’s clearly a confidence issue, and the challenge is for IT departments to take the necessary steps to prepare themselves for inevitable change.

“By failing to take action now, they risk putting themselves at a technological disadvantage to competitors, or being caught blindsided and forced to rush through a migration that could end up costing over the odds.”

Cost and complexity

The other oft-cited impediments to IaaS migration were cost and complexity, while the biggest motivators were cost-savings and flexibility.

Nice warned that basing decisions such as the timing of an IaaS migration on cost alone was risky, and could result in less reliable systems prone to service issues.

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“Often a cloud provider is only as good as the service level agreement (SLA) in place and, by cutting costs, poor support and periods of downtime are more likely,” he said.

The IT directors quizzed acknowledged Microsoft Azure as the most trusted IaaS provider, with 36% of respondents picking it over alternative systems; 22% picked IBM’s Smart Cloud over others; AWS, 14%; and Rackspace, also 14%. Only 5% of buyers said they trusted Google’s Compute Engine.

Nice said: “The prominence of Azure and IBM in IT buyers' minds is surprising, especially considering how far ahead AWS is, both technically and in market share.

“IT departments that are not used to buying cloud services sometimes are not aware of the difference in levels of performance between IaaS providers, and it can be tempting to choose a trusted name. 

"This trust, however, could be based on a decades-old relationship and not on the performance of current product offerings.”    

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