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A global survey of 1,000 technology practitioners and decision-makers conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of HashiCorp finds 43 percent plan to work more strategically with systems integrators, resellers, and consultants, to better manage their cloud computing environments.

There is no doubt that as cloud computing becomes more challenging, the pressing need for additional expertise will continue, which bodes well for IT services providers. The challenge is going to be persuading the wider market to come to that same conclusion.

Struggles with waste are widespread

The survey finds a full 94 percent of respondents report their organization struggles with cloud waste. Top factors contributing to avoidable spend include overprovisioning resources (50 percent), idle or underused resources (50 percent) and lack of needed skills (43 percent). Nevertheless, more than half of respondents (56 percent) said they boosted their cloud spending in the last year, compared to 22 percent of those who reduced it.

It’s apparent that, even though many organizations are struggling in the cloud era, there is still a high percentage that are resistant to relying on external expertise for help. Whether this stems from a sense of pride or simply a lack of budget, systems integrators, resellers, and consultants should be making the case for relying on them more aggressively. There’s clearly a lot of pain being experienced that could be readily alleviated by IT services providers that are well-versed in almost every aspect of cloud computing.

Overall, 92 percent of respondents said they are moving toward adopting, standardizing, or scaling cloud platform teams to centralize and standardize infrastructure and application services. However, only 39 percent are scaling the use of platform teams throughout the organization. The survey also finds that organizations are addressing skills shortages by adopting a common operating model (58 percent), upskilling (56 percent) and working with partners (43 percent).

Additionally, the survey finds many organizations are committed to multi-cloud computing, with nearly three quarters (73 percent) reporting this strategy is helping them reach their business goals. Another 19 percent said they expect this strategy to help them achieve their business goals in the next year.

Reasons for adopting multi-cloud strategies vary

The most cited reasons for adopting a multi-cloud strategy are reliability (51 percent), cost reduction (48 percent), security and governance (45 percent), digital transformation (45 percent), and scalability (45 percent). Only 10 percent had no choice but to go multi-cloud due to acquisitions or other factors.

Security (88 percent), availability (84 percent), and scalability (84 percent) were identified most often as being important/very important multi-cloud success factors, followed closely by regulatory/compliance requirements (82 percent), staffing and skill levels (82 percent), budget (80 percent), visibility into cloud infrastructure (78 percent), automated tooling (77 percent), and platform teams (75 percent).

The top cloud initiatives are data protection (77 percent), followed by secrets management and access control tied at 75 percent each. The top security concerns are password/credentials leakage (50 percent), followed by data theft (49 percent), phishing (46 percent), and ransomware (42 percent).

According to respondents, the biggest benefits of having a multi-cloud computing strategy are a stronger security posture (74 percent) and helping attract, motivate, and retain skilled and qualified employees (68 percent).

Regardless of motivation, no one should be going through it alone in an era where the cloud gets more complex with each passing day. The issue is establishing a level of trust with organizations that have historically had a bias to managing a much less complex on-premises IT environment themselves.

Photo: metamorworks / 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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