A significant shift is underway in terms of the types of services IT organizations require as they gain more confidence in the age of the cloud. A recent survey of 1,503 large organizations conducted by 451 Research on behalf of Dimension Data, a global provider of IT services that is a unit of NTT, suggests that there’s been significant drop in demand for cloud transformation services in favor of more post-cloud-deployment services.
While a full 67 percent of the respondents have purchased cloud transformation services in the past 12 months, only 25 percent plan to do so in the next 12 months. Demand for other types of services has also fallen. For example, 48 percent have used cloud assessment and readiness services in the past 12 months, but only 42 percent plan to purchase in the next 12 months. For the same time periods, cloud migration services goes from 45 to 39 percent; training drops from 46 percent to 41 percent; and testing goes from 48 percent to 36 percent.
While that may be a little disheartening, the survey also finds that IT organizations ranked their top cloud deployment challenges as being cost management (45 percent); data migration (44 percent); cloud management (42 percent); and automation of business processes (37 percent).
Taken together, the survey results show that as IT organizations become more accustomed to the cloud, their level of comfort with migrating workloads into the cloud on their own has increased. In fact, only 14 percent say they rely on third-party contractors and specialist to move workloads into the cloud. In contrast, more than a third (38 percent) say they have automated that task. Nevertheless, when respondents were asked to rank top inhibitors to cloud adoption, migration issues ranked third (50 percent) after cost of investment (52 percent) and security/compliance issues (55 percent).
Cloud use cases going forward
In general, the survey finds that usage of classes of cloud services spanning software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is evenly distributed. Of most interest to IT service providers is what types of use cases lend themselves most to the cloud. The survey respondents ranked those use cases as application development and testing (54 percent); custom in-house applications (49 percent); legacy applications (40 percent); non-critical applications (39 percent); mission-critical applications (38 percent); applications running on premises (37 percent); new applications only (35 percent); and applications running off premises (19 percent). Given the broad use cases cited, it would be fair to surmise that each organization is approaching the cloud in its own unique way.
One thing that is clear is that some form of hybrid cloud computing is the ultimate destination. In fact, 451 Research found that 65 percent of the respondents were already using Microsoft Azure—compared to AWS at 59 percent, Google Cloud Platform at 45 percent, and IBM at 42 percent. But being comfortable with multiple public clouds, of course, is not nearly the same thing as mastering heterogeneous hybrid cloud computing. IT organizations are clearly starting to get more comfortable with the idea of living in a multi-cloud world. They just don’t yet fully appreciate how much external expertise they will need to turn those hybrid cloud computing dreams into an everyday reality.