Growing Numbers of Cloud Apps Still Face Performance Challenge
Are IT teams equipped to fully embrace cloud apps and services?
August 27, 2014

Patrick Carey
Exoprise

Share this

The good news - Cloud apps and services continue to gain traction in enterprises with both business users and IT departments. The trend is being driven by much more than cost savings too.

The bad - Big obstacles still remain including a lack of confidence about service performance and availability, a lack of management tools and continuing concerns about data security.

These observations come from a recent survey of over 200 business executives and IT managers in North America to better understand their current and planned use of cloud-based applications and services, the drivers behind cloud adoption, and the obstacles that stand in their way. Some of the highlights include:

Both Businesses and IT Teams Plan to Use Cloud Apps

Both business and IT users surveyed indicated a major role for both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) models in their future IT plans. To date, much of the usage of cloud apps has been driven by business users.

IaaS Dominates Today, But SaaS Adoption is Catching Up

While IaaS offerings like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure represent a larger share of the cloud pie today, SaaS offerings are gaining ground. This includes expanding the use of established SaaS applications like Salesforce.com as well as deploying newer offerings such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps and Dropbox as core applications for most employees.

Cloud Use is Being Driven by More Than Cost Savings

The CapEx and OpEx benefits of cloud services are clearly understood and well documented, but adoption today is being driven by the operational agility and flexibility advantages more so than the cost benefits. The ability to deploy new services quickly and reconfigure them easily as the needs of the business change is becoming critical.

As Cloud Adoption Gains, IT Roles and Responsibilities Shift

The requirements in a cloud-based environment shift from managing apps and supporting infrastructure to coordinating and ensuring the availability of the services business users need to do their jobs. The challenge is how to manage and assure app service levels and data security for users when they don't have the same control over cloud-based services that they have over on-premise applications.

Security Concerns and Lack of IT Visibility Hamper Adoption

The biggest obstacles to cloud adoption are security concerns and a lack of confidence in app/service performance and availability. Related to this, over 40% of respondents indicate that their IT team has no tools to monitor and manage their cloud apps. Just 17% of respondents feel like their existing tools do a good job managing and monitoring their cloud-based apps.

What Should We Take From This?

It's no surprise that data security remains a primary concern with cloud deployments. Although the major service providers implement security measures that are more sophisticated than those in place within most business datacenters, businesses remain wary of the risks of storing their sensitive data in the cloud.

What may be surprising to the readers of APMdigest is the concern over cloud app performance and availability and the lack of good cloud management tools.

IT teams adopting cloud apps often find themselves in a challenging position today. Their users and business management still look to them to "own" application availability and performance even though they no longer own the application hosting environment. Unfortunately, the tools they use to manage their on-premise applications don't give them the same visibility and control in the cloud. This issue is further highlighted by the fact that nearly two-thirds of respondents indicate that their IT team either has no tools to monitor and manage their cloud apps or they simply rely on whatever health dashboard is available from their cloud service providers.

This data suggests a significant gap in systems management. Traditional tools, which have relied on direct access to servers, network equipment, log files, and APIs, are unable to effectively support cloud apps and services that do not expose those interfaces. Network management tools address part of the problem by focusing on network health, but they too are often limited in their visibility outside the company firewall and generally unable to provide insight into application/service health.

When asked how well the tools they use today address their cloud app monitoring and management needs, over 75% of the respondents indicated that they are at best, ambivalent about the tools. And more respondents feel their tools are not up to the task than feel they are.

Most mature systems management and monitoring solutions on the market today have evolved alongside the on-premise applications, operating systems, server and network infrastructure they have been used to manage. Organizations are now realizing how profoundly a cloud-centric IT architecture differs from their legacy on-premise architectures and with that how different their management and monitoring needs will be going forward. This is the key to driving cloud adoption in the enterprise and enabling businesses to take full advantage of all it has to offer.

Patrick Carey is VP Product Management & Marketing at Exoprise.

Share this

The Latest

April 21, 2017

In the spirit of Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22, we recently asked IT professionals for the tips and tricks they're using to help keep their data centers as green as possible. Here are a few ideas inspired by the responses we got ...

April 20, 2017

Almost One-Third (28 percent) of IT workers surveyed fear that cloud adoption is putting their job at risk, according to a survey conducted by ScienceLogic ...

April 19, 2017

A majority of senior IT leaders and decision-making managers of large companies surveyed around the world indicate their organizations have yet to fully embrace the aspects of IT Transformation needed to remain competitive, according to a new study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) ...

April 18, 2017

The move to cloud-based solutions like Office 365, Google Apps and others is one of the biggest fundamental changes IT professionals will undertake in the history of computing. The cost savings and productivity enhancements available to organizations are huge. But these savings and benefits can't be reaped without careful planning, network assessment, change management and continuous monitoring. Read on for things that you shouldn't do with your network in preparation for a move to one of these cloud providers ...

April 17, 2017

One of the most ubiquitous words in the development and DevOps vocabularies is "Agile." It is that shining, valued, and sometimes elusive goal that all enterprises strive for. But how do you get there? How does your organization become truly Agile? With these questions in mind, DEVOPSdigest asked experts across the industry — including analysts, consultants and vendors — for their opinions on the best way for a development or DevOps team to become more Agile ...

April 12, 2017

Is composable infrastructure the right choice for your IT environment? The following are 5 key questions that can help you begin to explore the capabilities of composable infrastructure and its applicability within your own IT environment ...

April 11, 2017

What is composable infrastructure, and is it the right choice for your IT environment? That's the question on many CIOs' minds today as they work to position their organizations as "digitally driven," delivering better, deeper, faster user experiences and a more agile response to change in whatever vertical market you do business in today ...

April 10, 2017

As companies adopt new hardware and applications, their networks grow larger and become harder to manage. For network engineers and administrators, the continued emergence of integrated technology has forced them to reconfigure and manage networks in a more dynamic way ...

April 07, 2017

The complexity of data in motion is growing and risks undermining the success of the modern data-driven enterprise. A recent survey of data engineers and architects, conducted by StreamSets, sought to bring some perspective to the new reality in the enterprise, leading to some interesting insights about the enterprise data landscape ...

April 06, 2017

The biggest factor driving happiness is the quality of relationships IT professionals have with their coworkers, including users, peers, and managers, according to the 2017 IT Job Satisfaction report from Spiceworks ...