A significant percentage of CIOs (81%) are struggling to identify and implement the cloud services most suitable for their business, according to research released by Trustmarque. The research also revealed that the complexity of existing IT infrastructure and services is a barrier to moving to cloud for two-thirds of CIOs (66%). In fact, almost three quarters (74%) of CIOs state that the interdependencies between different parts of their IT environment are a barrier towards moving certain IT services to the cloud.
Getting ‘fit for cloud’
As a result of the complexity of many modern IT infrastructures, it is not surprising that more than three quarters of CIOs (78%) state that integrating different cloud services is a challenge. Furthermore, many current applications used by businesses have not been built with cloud in mind. As such, the research found more than two thirds (68%) of CIOs believe modernising or re-architecting certain applications will slow their journey to cloud.
“While cloud can undoubtedly deliver many benefits to businesses, ‘moving to the cloud’ is often in reality, easier said than done. Selecting and implementing the right cloud services remains a challenge for CIOs,” said James Butler, CTO at Trustmarque. “Many CIOs struggle to understand the differences between the many cloud options, what these offer them and how to choose – often because of vendor hype and a lack of clarity around the solutions on offer. Couple this with the complexity of existing IT environments and the need to re-architect applications to get the most from cloud, and many IT departments face hurdles on their cloud journey. By assessing the functions that can be moved to the cloud with the least disruption, CIOs can identify the ‘quick cloud wins’ and clearly demonstrate the business value needed to justify more complicated moves that involve transformation. This hybrid approach can be a way of delivering the benefits of cloud to the business rapidly, with reduced risk.”
Cloud governance becoming more complicated
The research found almost three quarters (73%) of CIOs believe cloud services are making data governance more complicated. With recent changes to the Safe Harbour legislation between the EU and US expected to impact many businesses, the governance environment is set to grow even more convoluted. Furthermore, the desire of employees to use personal cloud services (such as Google Docs and Dropbox) is also posing potential information security threats. Three quarters (79%) of CIOs stated that they found it a challenge to balance the productivity needs of employees against potential security threats, when it comes to authorising the use of personal cloud and file sharing applications.
Questions arise on how to pay and licence for cloud
The sheer number of ways that organisations can procure cloud is also presenting challenges; with models including pay-per-user, pay-per-month, pay-as-you-go, through to monthly and annual subscriptions. As a result, over three quarters (76%) of CIOs stated the number of ways they can pay for cloud makes selecting the right cloud service difficult. In addition, a further 80% of CIOs believe existing software licensing agreements will delay them moving certain services to the cloud.
“Through a combination of dated licensing models not designed for cloud, incompatible existing business applications, the intricacies of integration, data protection concerns and the demand from business users for cloud services as simple as the ones they use themselves at home – today’s CIO is facing a conundrum. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to making cloud work for your business. The merits of public, private and hybrid models must be carefully considered. The transition to cloud poses questions for IT departments, but if CIOs can answer those questions successfully, the potential benefits of cloud can help them build an infrastructure that addresses the bimodal challenge of legacy modernisation in parallel with increased innovation, both now and in the future,” added James Butler.