A whopping 72 percent of 727 respondents to a global survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Virtustream, the cloud service provider arm of Dell Technologies, plan to revisit their organizations cloud strategy within the next two years. The survey results, published today, suggest that the primary drivers behind the decision to reevaluate cloud service providers are application performance (73 percent) followed by cost at a distant second (57 percent).

Nearly half the respondents (47 percent) say they plan to increase cloud spending within the next two years, and 42 percent say they expect to increase the number of vendors they work with on these projects. Only 17 percent say they plan to decrease the number of vendors they engage. Forty-five percent of survey respondents who work for organizations with more than 1,000 employees, spend $50 million or more on cloud services each year.

A full 47 percent of respondents admit their organizations approach to developing a cloud strategy has been ad hoc. Many of them are clearly reevaluating providers based on application performance levels that may have not lived up to expectations. A total 58 percent say improved performance is the dominant criteria that defines the success of a multi-cloud computing strategy; followed by cost savings at 52 percent. And yet, despite application performance concerns a total of 60 percent say they still plan to move mission-critical applications to the cloud.

A total of 70 percent or respondents say they will be both building new applications as well as migrating existing ones into the cloud. A full 86 percent say they are already rely on a multi-cloud strategy spanning to various degrees public clouds, third-party hosting services and their own on-premises IT environments.

The primary use cases for employing multiple clouds are data protection (27 percent), different levels of service provided by different providers (26 percent), different storage costs (26 percent), and overall cost structures (25 percent). Improved IT management flexibility and a desire to lower costs are tied as being the primary benefit of relying on multiple clouds (33 percent). But, in terms of top business goal for the coming year, survey respondents cited a need to increase operational efficiency (42 percent).

The cloud computing reboot

The survey makes it clear from a managed service provider (MSP) perspective something akin to a reboot of cloud computing is underway. Many organizations are clearly going to be revisiting decisions that may have been made in haste or by an application development team that didn’t fully appreciate the IT operational issues associated with using one cloud service provider platform versus another. The cost of using services that need to be paid for monthly is also likely to be reevaluated. In many instances, IT organizations will discover that deploying application workloads in on-premises IT environment is now the less expensive option.

The survey also makes it clear that the top challenges organizations face when employing multiple clouds is securing data in transit (19 percent), followed by tracking costs (17 percent), and maintaining integration (17 percent).

While the cost of switching cloud service providers can be daunting, it’s clear most IT organizations are not all that wedded to their current provider. That lack of affinity may prove to be both a curse and a blessing to MSPs in the months ahead depending on which side of incumbent provider coin they happen to be on with any given customer.

Ready Set Managed

Photo: one photo / Shutterstock.

Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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