It’s hangover time for enterprise cloud computing

A new report from 451 Research shows that IT pros are dissatisfied with the service they get and with the difficulty of cloud migrations

It’s hangover time for enterprise cloud computing
D. Sinclair Terrasidius (CC BY 2.0)

Now that enterprises have done serious work in the cloud, they’re a bit unhappy with their cloud technology providers. It turns out that migrations are not so easy, and service levels aren’t what they expect.

According to a recent report by 451 Research, three quarters of organizations are willing to pay a premium for enhanced services from their cloud technology providers. Just under half (48.7 percent) of the 600 IT pros polled said they would pay to enhance their security, 43.3 percent said they would pay extra for guaranteed uptime and performance metrics, 33.6 percent would pay more for enhanced customer service, and 26.4 percent would pay more for enhanced operational management.

IT shops were also dissatisfied with the security services they were getting in their cloud services; only 38.8 percent were satisfied. But such services were important to more than half (58.1 percent) of those polled.

Only one in five respondents said their cloud technology vendors met their expectations for migrating workloads to and from on-premises platforms.

What does this all mean?

We’re in the hangover stage of cloud computing, with IT pros comparing their giddy expectations with the reality on the ground.

What I find most interesting about the 451 Research study is that enterprises see the value of the cloud, and are willing pay more for services that meet their expectations. But the cloud technology providers aren’t meeting those expectations, particularly around customer service. 

This expectation gap has a historical cause: Enterprises are accustomed to large enterprise vendors with account executives who provide a “single throat to choke.” But cloud technology providers just began to answer their phones a few years ago, so this customer service stuff is still new to them.

I’m also not surprised by the frustrations around cloud migration. Having lived the “migration life” for 10 years now, I know it’s way more complex than most cloud technology providers and service providers expected. There are too many unknowns and idiosyncrasies. So, for most enterprises, it typically turns out to be complex and difficult to manage, and the survey data is starting to show that. That was true in the past for on-premises migrations, and it’s just as true now for cloud ones.

At the end of the day, none of this should be a surprise. The survey shows that in fact all systems are normal—meaning that they are complex and difficult. Welcome to enterprise IT!

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