BMC Forrester Cloud Survey: The End of IT as We Know It?

This morning BMC released the results of a survey covering a broad range of cloud topics. We are seeing a distinct pattern with many of our customers and want to confirm these trends with hard data, and shed light on the changes that cloud is bringing to IT. We were not surprised with the outcome, what the numbers told us was undeniable.

Tthe cat is out of the bag when it comes to public cloud. Business has figured out that it can get resources and services faster from external providers than IT. What’s more, IT knows that this is going on, and they have realized they are powerless to stop it. The survey told us that 79% of respondents were planning on running mission critical workloads on resources that are not managed by IT within two years, while only 36% allow this today. Further, among the CIOs we surveyed, 72% agreed or strongly agreed that the business sees cloud as a way to circumvent IT!

There is an old saying that if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Business has seen IT as part of the problem for a long time, and can finally do something about it. However, all is not lost for IT. If the business is embracing cloud, IT can help make the transition a successful one. We also learned, unsurprisingly, that expectations for cloud are extremely high. Business is expecting cloud to speed up time to market, reduce costs, and solve world hunger (ok, maybe not). So the question is: can IT be a positive force towards meeting these high expectations for cloud?

IT leaders know that their jobs depend on answering that question. That’s why we also see developing a cloud strategy as a high priority for 81% of the respondents. IT wants to align their interest to the business, and in this case, it means supporting the usage of public cloud, or at the very least providing a public cloud-like experience to their users. If the cloud fails to deliver, IT is still going to get blamed. In the survey, 71% of respondents thought that IT operations should be responsible for ensuring that public cloud services met heir firm’s requirements for performance, security, and availability. Even though IT is not delivering the services themselves, they are still on the hook for delivering on expectations.

Some other key takeaways from the survey:

•          Hybrid cloud comes out a winner: 37% responded that they would take a hybrid approach to cloud, a plurality among the different flavors of IaaS (Hybrid, private, hosted private, and public)

•          IT still struggles with complexity: 43% reported having 3 or more hypervisor technologies

•          Cost reduction is not the primary reason organizations are pursuing cloud: they want it for availability, speed, agility, and ease of acquisition, with cost being toward the bottom of a long list of cloud benefits

•          Cloud is forcing the conversation on cost: 77% said that w/in the next two years the cloud will focus business expectations on cost transparency

So what is IT to do against this backdrop of high expectations and a slow loss of control? What it boils down to is being a better partner with the business and taking a unified approach to IT – legacy and cloud. Users turn to public cloud services for a reason, it’s on IT to figure out why and to do a better job servicing that need. IT needs to commit to managing these services as the business starts using them, even if IT isn’t the one driving procurement. Finally, IT needs to get their act together with automation in order to service the business in the way they’ve become accustomed to by public cloud providers. Users will go around IT to get what they want, and IT must adapt to this new reality.

For more insight into the survey and results, we’re running a webinar with the folks from Forrester who conducted it on April 26th – you can sign up here.

We’re also running a webinar with Amazon Web Services on April 11th, if you’re interested in learning more about how enterprises can govern the usage of the AWS cloud – register for that here.

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