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UK CIOs lament lack of IT support for cloud services

Research from ElasticHosts suggests most cloud users are unhappy with the level of tech support they receive from their providers

Moving to the cloud has left three out of four users feeling dissatisfied with the level of service and support they receive, research claims.

According to a poll of 200 UK CIOs, commissioned by cloud hosting provider ElasticHosts, 93% are now using off-premise technologies, but 75% feel making the move has forced them to make sacrifices in service and support.

To reinforce this point, 33% of respondents said they feel moving to the cloud has meant forfeiting access to most IT support; while 84% said service providers could do more to reduce the maintenance burden this places on in-house IT teams.

Some of the most common gripes users shared about their experiences of using cloud support services centred on slow response times to customer queries (47%); the low-levels of tech knowledge demonstrated by callcentre staff (41%); and the use of automated phone systems (33%).

While some cloud providers offer additional support contracts, if users are willing to pay a little extra each month, ElasticHosts' research suggests most users (80%) resent having to pay a premium for it.

Richard Davies, CEO Of ElasticHosts, said the research highlights the misconceptions around how using cloud means in-house IT departments will have less work to do.

“Many companies adopt cloud so they can take away the headaches related to managing their IT, and reduce the burden on in-house IT staff. Therefore, the need for ongoing support and services will naturally be reduced, as it is outsourced,” he said.

“Yet, when using any service, you want to be able to ask questions – whether that’s to learn how to configure a server or to query a bill – and you should be able to do this without having to pay a hefty premium.”

The findings came on the back of another report into the frustrations experienced by software-as-a-service (SaaS) users by cloud firm StratoGen, as the hype surrounding the technology gives way to tales about the realities of using it.

“The industry should be doing more to help customers. Users are right to expect expert support included as standard with their cloud services,” he said.

“The first person that they contact for support should be an engineer with strong technical understanding of the service, not just a call handler.” 

Read more about cloud adoption trends

Research from Harvard Business Review suggests IT departments are maintaining a firm grip on enterprise cloud deployments.

The day-to-day frustrations of cloud users have been laid bare in a new survey, which suggests high levels of discontent exist among adopters of off-premise tools and technologies.

Read more on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

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This article was so refreshing, because my organization has taken the support model of our business very seriously. Since the inception of the organization, we have never supported our customers with a call tree, and level 1 note takers. We have one phone number to call and our customers get a trained engineer on the phone, regardless of their issue. In addition, we don't compensate our people for tickets closed or time on calls. We make it a priority to update our customers hourly, even if there is nothing to update beyond letting them know we are still working on their issue. We have stuck to these standards throughout the years and our customer stats show it. In a recent survey, 100% of the respondents said they would recommend my company to someone else. That's the stat you're looking for and that is how we know we will continue to support our customers the way we always have and not turn our company into a manufacturing/widget support center. We treat our customers like they matter and we continually reap the benefits. Thanks for posting this, it was a confirmation for me.
While some cloud providers MAY offer good support for [general] IT issues, many "cloud" salesmen do not market the lack of IT support that their product may have. Indeed, some cloud providers may only offer such "extra" services as a premium, but fail to mention this at point of sale. I have seen this happen first hand, when a customer got rid of their SBS server to move into the cloud, then discovered that they now have to pay substantially more than their SBS Server cost to run. This situation I feel, is completely down to the salespeople, who are selling the cloud like 19th century snake-oil salesmen.
These salesmen are the front end to some good (reputable) companies, ultimately it is up to those companies to ensure that the [potential] customer knows exactly what they are getting.