Study: Cloud computing becoming pervasive, and IT needs to take control now

Cloud computing may be taking the business world by storm, but its success could mean a "perfect storm" that endangers the role of IT.

As a result, IT needs to step up now and change its approach to cloud services. This includes building trust with the lines of business, beginning to manage public cloud services, and pursuing increased automation for service provisioning and operations.

These are the key findings of a survey commissioned by BMC Software and conducted by Forrester Research. The study, "Delivering on High Cloud Expectations," shows that usiness units' demand for speed and agility is leading them to circumvent IT and acquire cloud services, more than half of them from what were termed "unmanaged" clouds.

Brian Singer, Lead Solutions Marketing Manager for BMC, said his company commissioned the survey in an effort to confirm what the company was hearing anecdotally from customers. "Cloud and software as a service (SaaS)are in enterprises in a big way," Singer said, "and we wanted to see how IT was dealing with them."

Cloud and SaaS are in enterprises in a big way and we wanted to see how IT was dealing with them.



For the study, researchers polled 327 enterprise infrastructure executives and architects in the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Among the key findings:

 

  • Today, 58 percent run mission critical workloads in unmanaged public clouds, regardless of policy. The researchers use "unmanaged" to describe clouds that are managed by the cloud operators, but not by the company buying the service.
  • In the next two years, 79 percent plan to run mission-critical workloads on unmanaged cloud services.
  • Nearly three out of four responders, 71 percent, thought that IT should be responsible for public cloud services.
  • Seventy two percent of CIOs believe that the business sees cloud computing as a way to circumvent IT.

Wake-up call

"This is a wake-up call," Singer said. "They know that this is going on and they understand that cloud is a way to go around monolithic IT." According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents said that a comprehensive cloud strategy is a high priority for the next year.

While cost is a major driver in the C-suite, the lines of business respondents put cost way down on their list of priorities. Instead they are seeking higher availability, faster delivery of services, more agility, and options and flexibility.

The researchers suggested a three-prong approach for IT to get a handle on this:

 

  • Build trust with the users and create a better user experience -- have an honest conversation about needs of the business, incorporate business requirements into a cloud strategy, and demonstrate progress toward them.
  • Shift from unmanaged to managed public cloud services. Many cloud vendors allow IT operations to monitor and manage services. This will help mitigate the risk and complexity that unmanaged clouds now introduce.
  • Develop ways to provision and operate internal services so that users get experiences similar to those they get from outside. This requires more automation to rapidly deploy solutions.

The full study results will be announced April 26 at 11 a.m. CST as part of a BMC webinar, registration required.

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About the Author
Dana Gardner is president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, an enterprise IT analysis, market research, and consulting firm. Ga...


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