cloud computing

Integration Still a Problem Despite Adoption

While uptake has certainly been high—some 93% of businesses now use cloud technology in some form—integration is still an issue. A survey of 930 IT professionals showed that 88% of businesses are using public cloud technologies, while 63% are using private cloud technologies, and 82% are using some kind of hybrid. However, while it is now obviously a key ingredient of modern IT, many businesses seem to be finding issues long after the first stage of adoption and integration.

Delving deeper into the take-up of cloud computing, Sharon Florentine, writing for CIO, found that among companies who have progressed from the first experimental stage to a non-critical use stage, 28% rated the transition as requiring significant effort. More concerning, among those who have progressed to a full transformed IT stage as many as 63% rated the final transition as requiring significant effort.

In addition to the traditional IT project snags, cloud integration can prove even more challenging due to web APIs potentially unfamiliar to the technical team. What's more, many businesses moving into the cloud use it for storing valuable data. In fact, as many as 20% of companies are running their entire enterprise workloads from the cloud.

Secondary migrations add to the complications and any further shifts inevitably bring another wave of integration challenges. Reasons for the secondary migrations vary. Better offers, features, and greater security are all cited as reasons. This shift onto the cloud also means that IT departments are starting to take a backseat in decision making regarding IT direction. On the strategic side of businesses, executives are becoming ever-more empowered. New business imperatives are now dictating how companies use their IT.

With 43% of businesses offering a self-service portal for general business users, almost any department can now access, purchase, and use cloud-based technology. Often this occurs without any understanding of how the applications of services will or won't integrate with the existing IT stack.

This has the inevitable effect of the IT department needing to get involved after the fact to try and sort out the mess. Consequently, many companies who successfully navigate the initial migration find a dedicated cloud architect— someone with the necessary installation, scaling, provisioning, networking and administration skills needed to solve various problems—an invaluable addition to the team.

All of that said, the technology is here to stay. Companies who ride out the current storm and manage to find the right balance of public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions will possess an advantage over competitors. The key thing to remember is that there is no single model that will provide the best answer for every workload.