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Global survey reveals costs, benefits & challenges of cloud migration

15 Sep 2017

A recent report delved into businesses and their cloud migrations – and just how successful they were.

Unisys conducted the global survey, which revealed that organisations that conducted a thorough return on investment (ROI) analysis before embarking on their cloud journey were 44 percent more successful in realising their cost-saving expectations than those that did not.

The survey was made up of 400 IT and business executives across eight countries, with 80 percent reporting they had expected cost-savings from adopting the cloud as a channel for accessing IT and business resources. Just 59 percent stated they had conducted a formal ROI analysis before embarking on their cloud migrations.

Of the respondents that did conduct formal ROI analysis up front, 82 percent realised the cost-savings that they expected.

In direct contrast, an underwhelming 57 percent of those migrating without the benefit of an ROI analysis say that they realised their cost savings expectations – a difference of 44 percent between the two groups.

Third parties were also an often mentioned topic within the survey, with 68 percent saying they contracted a third party for their cloud migration or management. Of this group, 72 percent used the partner for cloud strategy and planning, while 79 percent said that partnering with an outside expert enabled their organisation to achieve expected cost savings.

Vice president of Cloud and Infrastructure Services at Unisys, Paul Gleeson says their research in cloud transformation clearly depicts the old saying – ‘failing to plan is like planning to fail’.

“Migration offers a plethora of cloud options – private, public, hybrid, community and other combinations. However, those choices can create unforeseen complexities that can easily derail expectations,” says Gleeson.

“Those organisations that plan their cloud migration carefully, drawing on the expertise of established partners where it makes the most strategic sense, are the ones best positioned to realise operational, financial and competitive success from cloud transformation.”

With the rapid migration from traditional on-premises data centres to various types of clouds, the respondents indicated that the use of traditional on-premises data centres will fall from 43 percent now to 29 percent in 2019, while private cloud uses increased from 20 percent to 28 percent.

Over the same period, public cloud use will rise from 18 percent to 21 percent, hybrid cloud from 11 percent to 13 percent, and use of community cloud (a private cloud shared by multiple organisations with a common mission) will hold steady at 9 percent.

When it came to the benefits from the cloud, the respondents were largely in agreement. At least 94 percent cite improved disaster recovery/business continuity, agility and flexibility, more efficient storage, reduced capital costs and standardisation of IT as being at least somewhat important.

Improving agility is the top driver overall, with 78 percent of respondents saying it is critical or very important.

The benefits are clear, as are the challenges. Many of the respondents reported encountering unexpected roadblocks, with 60 percent saying those impediments slowed their cloud migrations and 17 percent saying that the roadblocks brought their migrations to a standstill.

42 percent name concerns about security (ranging from identity and access management to micro-segmentation of data) and compliance as both the most common causes and potential results of slowdowns in cloud migration.

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