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Most organizations at this point have migrated some portion of their IT environment to a cloud computing environment. However, a report published today by Unisys shows that not all those organizations know what to do once that migration is completed.

Based on a global survey of 1,000 senior IT and business leaders, the Unisys report finds 93 percent of organizations are transitioning critical applications to the cloud. However, the survey also notes that in terms of achieving specific objectives, most of these transitions are a work in progress.

The survey finds organizations most frequently failed to meet cloud expectations relating to managing or reducing costs, with 35 percent reporting expectations were somewhat met/below expectation. In terms of other areas where there is room for improvement, staff productivity (33 percent), and increased revenue (32 percent) are at the top of the list.

On the plus side, satisfaction rates for security (79 percent) and agility (74 percent) were relatively high. However, one-quarter (27 percent) of business leaders at organizations that have not transitioned to the cloud did cite security as a barrier to change.

Overall, the survey also notes 80 percent of those who plan to spend substantially more on cloud computing in 2020 have already seen their organizational effectiveness moderately or greatly improve, making them 40 percent more likely to report improvement versus those who plan to spend the same on cloud in 2020 as they did in 2019.

What does it mean for IT service providers?

From the perspective of IT services providers, the survey also finds organizations that used third-party support to help with their cloud migration were 12 percent more likely to see moderate or great improvements compared to organizations that relied on internal IT teams.

Specific areas where organizations continue to look for third-party support are security (53 percent), migrations (44 percent), cloud assessment and planning (36 percent), managing complex hybrid clouds (34 percent), application and infrastructure design (33 percent), results tracking (31 percent), management and governance (31 percent), roadmaps (28 percent), organizational change management (28 percent), architecture tools (26 percent), and time to market (26 percent).

Based on the survey results, many organizations may be able to get to the cloud on their own, but the challenges they face upon arrival are substantial. In fact, only 26 percent of respondents said they have embraced multi-cloud computing, which will further exacerbate an already complex challenge.

The Unisys report shows the next phase of the cloud computing opportunity has arrived. IT service providers can safely assume that organizations have had some level of experience with public clouds. Most of them are now looking for help optimizing what is likely to be an uneven experience at best.

As with most migrations, no one is sure what issues and challenges will be encountered until they get there. It’s only then that they start to seek out additional help. In the months ahead, savvy IT providers should focus on how to optimize the experience for organizations making the journey to the cloud.

Naturally, there are still plenty of organizations just starting to make that migration journey. However, most of the organizations who are looking for help now, are doing so because they have already arrived and are trying to figure out what to do next.

Photo: Alones / Shutterstock

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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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