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The State of Cloud Readiness: Where Do IT Leaders Go Wrong?

Cloud | Posted on October 4, 2018 by Maya Cieszynska

In 2006, Amazon launched Elastic Compute Cloud – widely considered to be the first cloud service on the market. Since then, we’ve heard plenty of conversations about the opportunities of cloud computing. But more than a decade later, cloud migration continues to be a source of anxiety for IT leaders.

According to Softchoice’s new report, The State of Cloud Readiness: IT Leaders Lost in the Cloud, organizations invest significant time and energy preparing for a move to the cloud. To improve the odds of a seamless transition, IT leaders typically bolster technical and operational skills and determine the operational costs associated with the cloud.

But what happens after IT leaders pull the trigger on their cloud migration strategies? For many organizations, the real challenge begins post-migration.

Post-migration challenges

Organizations are embracing the cloud in record numbers. A Softchoice survey of 250 IT leaders from the U.S. and Canada showed that one-third of organizations now claim widespread use of the cloud, up from 26 percent two years ago. And 62 percent choose to engage in a hybrid cloud strategy.

In general, IT leaders express confidence about their preparation to migrate workloads to the cloud. Eighty-three percent of leaders have assessed existing applications to determine if they are ready for the cloud, and 82 percent have modernized their data centers to integrate and work seamlessly within cloud environments.

However, IT leaders’ confidence breaks down once they make the move, with 43 percent admitting they struggle in creating an effective cloud strategy. Here are some of the specific areas where the symptoms of broken strategies emerge:

  • Human error – Nearly one-third (31 percent) of IT leaders have experienced a cloud failure due to human error. Of those, 40 percent cited lack of strategy as a cause, 34 percent pointed to a lack of skilled employees, and 24 percent blamed their struggle to understand cloud costs. These challenges leave leaders grasping for additional IT talent – but coming up short.
  • Slow hiring – Hiring and training for cloud management skills are high priorities for organizations trying to solve for a lack of a strategic direction. Still, many teams struggle to bridge the IT skills gap. An overwhelming 96 percent of IT decision-makers acknowledge a skills gap in their organizations and are turning to outside resources to solve for it, hiring being the most common tactic. But nearly half (49 percent) of IT leaders say it takes three to six months to hire the right candidates.
  • Budgeting mishaps – As a result of human error and strategy challenges, cloud costs spiral out of control. Forty-four percent of IT leaders struggle to understand how to model cloud costs while educating their businesses on the shift from capital expenditures to operating expenditures. Three in five organizations have exceeded their cloud budgets at some point. Of those that have overspent, 67 percent exceeded their budget by up to 20 percent.
  • Lack of confidence in security – Ninety-eight percent of IT leaders believe their cloud providers keep their data secure. However, when we look at IT leaders at the manager and director levels – those closest to cloud processes – only 36 percent strongly agree they are confident in the extension of their own security policies to the cloud and what their accountabilities are compared to the cloud provider. IT executives – VP and C-level – are only slightly more confident at 46 percent.

With the right resources, skill sets and foresight, it’s possible to avoid the post-migration challenges that trip up many IT teams. To learn how successful IT leaders identify their root issues, download our State of Cloud Readiness report today.

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