The vast majority of enterprises still lack a mature cloud strategy, according to a recent survey of 6,159 executives conducted by IDC. Just 3% of respondents define their cloud strategies as “optimized,” the highest level of strategic maturity, while nearly half (47%) say their cloud strategies are usually “opportunistic or ad hoc.”
At a time when 68% of surveyed organizations are using cloud to help drive business outcomes (up from 42% just one year ago), the impact of his lack of strategy could have long-term effects on the success of cloud projects.
An “ad hoc” cloud strategy is likely the result of a number of factors: the project-by-project adoption of cloud, the speed of cloud adoption, and the staggered expiration of datacenter contracts / equipment (which leads to intermittent cloud migration), to name a few. But no matter the cause, the result is often one or more of the following:
- Isolated cloud projects without common, shared standards
- Ad hoc security configurations, either due to lack of common benchmark or inconsistent application of that benchmark
- Lack of cross-team shared resources and learnings, which could lead to further efficiencies
- Lack of consistent financial data for tracking purposes
In some cases, ad hoc cloud strategy is purposeful: the enterprise wants to take advantage of cloud technologies by experimenting with multiple platforms, usually as part of Center of Excellence or isolated DevOps team that works out the best strategy and then communicates that strategy to the rest of the company. Anecdotally, according to companies that Logicworks works with, some companies often get stuck at this step; they have one or two moderately successful projects, but do not know how to expand usage with the proper controls across the enterprise.
The IDC survey confirms the results of a Logicworks/Wakefield survey conducted in July 2016, which found that nearly half of IT decision makers believe their organization’s IT workforce is not completely prepared to address the challenges of managing their cloud resources over the next five years. The report further found that one of the top reasons for this lack of strategy is that many organizations mistake cloud vendors’ claims of “simplified” infrastructure maintenance for “little to no” infrastructure maintenance; in other words, they think maintaining their cloud systems will be easy. The survey found that eighty percent (80%) of IT decision makers feel that leadership underestimates the cost and effort of managing cloud systems, and as a result, they do not effectively plan for the staffing and resources IT requires to achieve highly available, scalable cloud systems.
Clearly enterprises have some work to do — not just to develop a strategy around where and when cloud is adopted, but how to manage and govern these cloud deployments going forward. Whether they choose to do so in-house, with a short term strategic consultant engagement, or with a long-term cloud management solution, most know that they cannot afford to maintain an “ad hoc” cloud strategy. As cloud matures, expect to see a mature, flexible framework for cloud management, automation, and large-scale DevOps as the next must-have for enterprise IT teams.
Logicworks is an enterprise cloud automation and managed services provider with 23 years of experience transforming enterprise IT. Contact us to learn more about our managed cloud solutions.