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Skills gaps and ill-defined strategies hold back cloud adoption, suggests IDC research

Cisco-backed research into cloud adoption trends suggests few enterprises have perfected their off-premise IT strategies

Skills gaps, ill-defined technology strategies and outdated organisational structures are all reasons why enterprises are failing to make the most of moving to the cloud, suggests research from IDC.

The analyst house claims just 3% of enterprises have reached a stage where their use of cloud could be considered “optimised” and mature, while 22% still have no off-premise technology strategy.

The Cisco-sponsored research is laid out in IDC’s Cloud Going Mainstream: All Are Trying, Some Are Benefiting, Few Are Maximising Value report, which features responses from IT decision makers from 6,100 cloud-using organisations worldwide.

Cloud-optimised organisations are reaping the financial benefits of the move off-premise, with the research suggesting those with a mature strategy bank $3m a year in additional revenue per cloud-based application and accrue around $1m in cost savings.

“These revenue increases have been largely the result of sales of products and services, gaining customers faster, or accelerated ability to sell into new markets,” the research states.

Robert Mahowald, group vice-president for software-as-a-service and cloud software at IDC, said the research suggests the majority of enterprises still have plenty of work to do when it comes to honing their off-premise strategies.

“As this global cloud adoption study reveals, most organisations are still attempting to optimise their cloud strategies, but the 3% of organisations that have reached the highest level of adoption are reaping the most benefits,” he said.

While these benefits are likely to be something many cloud-using enterprises will hope to achieve, those just starting out on their move off-premise will need to overcome a number of barriers first.

“Obstacles to achieving greater cloud maturity include skill gaps, legacy siloed organisational structures and IT and line of business misalignment,” the report adds.

Read more about cloud adoption trends

A sign of an enterprise with a mature and optimised strategy is one that sources services from multiple providers, based on their data sovereignty, corporate governance and collaborative business needs, suggests the IDC report.

They are also more inclined to have adopted a DevOps-style approach to software and product delivery.

The report states the majority of respondents are favouring the use of hybrid cloud environments, with 73% of respondents claiming to be pursuing this strategy.

Scott Clark, vice-president of advanced services at Cisco, said an enterprise’s ability to manage a variety of off-premise IT environments is another marker of its cloud maturity. 

“Our customers are dealing with increasingly diverse and complex environments as their hybrid and multicloud deployments grow,” said Clark.

“These customers want the freedom to choose the best environments and consumption models for their traditional and cloud native applications, which all drive a variety of business benefits.

“Yet, as this research bears out, while many customers are embracing cloud, most are still in the early stages of their journey to an optimised cloud model.”

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)