Biz vs IT tension worsens as public cloud adoption grows
By Asia Cloud Forum editors 22-Mar-2012
Forrester Consulting's new global cloud survey findings suggest that business teams are willing to bypass IT to acquire public cloud services on their own.
Commissioned by BMC Software, the survey was conducted on 327 enterprise infrastructure executives and architects across the Asia Pacific, US, and Europe.
The high expectations for speedy, low-cost implementation of new software systems in the cloud are putting unique pressures on IT departments within the enterprise, survey findings suggest. As businesses demand for greater speed and agility, they tend to look outside the organization to provision services in public clouds. Forrester Consulting advises that IT departments to expand their plans to incorporate public cloud services into their overall cloud strategies.
Business versus IT
Mark Settle, BMC's CIO, said: "This survey has helped us to pinpoint the pains felt by both the business and IT as they struggle to adapt IT strategies to the avalanche of public cloud consumption. The conclusion is that the need for a comprehensive, unified environment is becoming a top priority for business to connect everything -- from the mainframe to the cloud."
"[T]he need for a comprehensive, unified environment is becoming a top priority for business to connect everything -- from the mainframe to the cloud."
-- Mark Settle, CIO, BMC Software
BMC Software's survey report, titled "Delivering on high cloud expectations," reveals an increasing tension between business and IT stakeholders.
Survey findings showed that 81% of respondents indicated that a high priority for a comprehensive cloud strategy for next year; but their companies face significant hurdles as IT attempted to deliver:
IT is struggling with significant complexity and that is unlikely to change in the next two years. Findings of the survey revealed that 39% of respondents reported having five or more virtual server pools, and 43% reported three or more hypervisor technologies. The study also found cost reduction to be the top IT priority in the next twelve months, with complexity reduction being the top strategy to achieve savings.
CIOs are concerned that business leaders see cloud computing as a way to circumvent IT. Seventy-two percent of the CIOs surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that their business executives see cloud as a way to be independent of IT. The simultaneous pull of cost reduction and simplification in one direction and better, cheaper, faster in the other is putting a strain on IT's ability to meet expectations. CIOs are becoming increasingly concerned that cloud provides a way around their strategies for simplification and cost reduction.
The business is indeed willing to go around IT to get public cloud services today, contributing to IT complexity. About 58% of respondents are running mission-critical workloads in the unmanaged public cloud regardless of policy, while only 36% have policies allowing this. Furthermore, respondents indicated that public clouds acquired by teams outside of IT are a top driver of complexity and risk.
IT tacitly acknowledges that this public cloud acquisition cannot be effectively stopped. The survey revealed that 79% of respondents plan to support running mission-critical workloads in unmanaged public cloud services in the next two years, while only 36% allow this today. This indicates a growing acknowledgement that public cloud services must be a part of a comprehensive cloud strategy.
IT feels that it should manage public cloud services, but realizes that providing high service levels will be difficult. Further, 71% of respondents thought that IT operations should be responsible for ensuring public cloud services meet their firm's requirements for performance, security and availability, and 61% of the survey respondents agreed that it will be difficult to provide the same level of management across public and private cloud services.
Interest in hybrid cloud reflects the broader need for unified management. When asked what type of cloud they were most interested in, the number one response from those surveyed, at 37%, was hybrid clouds running on a combination of internal and external infrastructure. This, together with the ubiquity of public cloud and the high degree of internal complexity firms are facing, underscores a need to take a unified systems management approach.
"CIOs sense the pressure that cloud is applying to their organizations and are prioritizing the creation of a comprehensive cloud strategy for their firms in the coming year," according to Forrester in the study. This strategy must create a path toward cloud in order to unify management across public and private, automate complexity, and create transparency so the business and IT can have real conversations about cost.