Cloud trust in decline

Leaseweb Global has published the results of research revealing that over half (55%) of UK IT professionals currently trust public cloud services less than they did two years ago, having run into challenges around usage costs, migration and customer service.

The research, which explores 500 UK-based IT professionals’ experience with public cloud providers over the last two years, raises questions whether hyperscale is the best way forward or viable as a long-term option. Transparency, customer service and the ease of migrating workloads are flagged as potential concerns, despite most respondents saying they had costs under control. Overall, the results indicate a significant trust issue when it comes to public cloud providers.

For example, the majority (57%) of respondents had found it challenging to migrate workloads out of a public cloud environment, while just under half (49%) said they had encountered difficulties in understanding their cloud usage costs. Despite this, nearly three quarters (72%) agree they have effectively controlled public cloud usage costs, while 46% stated they ‘somewhat agree’. Almost half (49%) had struggled to get hold of a public cloud provider’s customer services.

In addition, while cloud is now a key component for many IT infrastructure strategies, ‘cloud only’ and ‘cloud first’ are not dominant, nor are they considered a panacea for every business need. While there was an increase in the adoption of cloud infrastructure during the pandemic, the study also showed a decrease in support for ‘cloud first’ strategies during 2022.

For instance, in the January 2019-December 2021 ("pre COVID pandemic") period, 36% of organisations described their approach to IT infrastructure as ‘cloud first’, with only 19% stating their organisation was officially committed to a ‘cloud-only’ approach. From January 2022 onwards, the ("post COVID pandemic") period, ‘cloud first’ commitments had decreased to 31%, with ‘cloud only’ rising to 25% of respondents.

When asked about the optimum IT infrastructure for their organisation, private cloud only (23%) and a mixture of on-premise and public cloud (20%) were the most popular selections. These were followed by public cloud only (17%) and a mixture of on-premises and private cloud (14%), with on-premises only the least popular selection at 7%.

The move away from on-premise legacy infrastructure is clear, with two-thirds (66%) of respondents agreeing that the industry will see the end of on-premise infrastructure over the next two years. The research results indicate that while on-premises is not an important part of IT strategy, it still exists within many organisations’ environments.

The positive news is this does not appear to be stifling innovation: only 16% of respondents said that legacy infrastructure was either standing in the way of further cloud adoption or limiting their organisation’s ability to make business decisions. Instead, the focus is on deploying applications in the right place, with a key takeaway from the study being the end of on-premises infrastructure may be approaching, but not quite here.

“The results of this study strengthen the case for hybrid combinations thanks to the flexibility and choice it can deliver to both large and small companies,” commented Terry Storrar, Managing Director UK at Leaseweb. “And much as there has been a shift towards cloud adoption, rather than highlighting the pandemic as a key driver of a shift to the cloud, it appears that businesses were investing in cloud beforehand and that investment levels have remained relatively static,” continued Storrar.

“Although respondents acknowledge that the desire and need to look after on-premises infrastructure is dying, the results also indicate that businesses are still using it as an ongoing component of their IT infrastructure when adopting hybrid cloud. The key takeaway from this research is IT teams are looking for flexibility - there’s no one size fits all approach. Organisations are now more likely to qualify cloud out during the assessment stage, rather than the other way around, but the main focus is on choosing the right infrastructure locations for specific use cases,” concluded Storrar.

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