Many Organizations Lack Cloud Strategy
May 16, 2016

Eric Senunas
Turbonomic

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While the common assumption is that the cloud represents reduced costs and better application performance, many organizations will fail to realize those benefits, according to research by VMTurbo. A multi-cloud approach, where businesses operate a number of separate private and public clouds, is an essential precursor to a true hybrid cloud. Yet in the survey of 1,368 organizations 57 percent of those surveyed had no multi-cloud strategy at all. Similarly, 35 percent had no private cloud strategy, and 28 percent had no public cloud strategy.

“A lack of cloud strategy doesn’t mean an organization has studied and rejected the idea of the cloud; it means it has given adoption little or no thought at all,” said Charles Crouchman, CTO of VMTurbo. “As organizations make the journey from on-premise IT, to public and private clouds, and finally to multi- and hybrid clouds, it’s essential that they address this. Having a cloud strategy means understanding the precise costs and challenges that the cloud will introduce, knowing how to make the cloud approach work for you, and choosing technologies that will supplement cloud adoption. For instance, by automating workload allocation so that services are always provided with the best performance for the best cost. Without a strategy, organizations will be condemning themselves to higher-than-expected costs, and a cloud that never performs to its full potential.”

Above and beyond this lack of strategy, SMEs in particular were shown to massively underestimate the costs of cloud implementation. While those planning private cloud builds gave an average estimated budget of $148,605, SMEs that have already completed builds revealed an average cost of $898,508: more than six times the estimates.

Other interesting statistics from the survey included:

Adopting cloud is not a quick, simple process: Even for those organizations with a cloud strategy, the majority (60 percent) take over a year to plan and build their multi-cloud infrastructure, with six percent taking over three years. Private and public cloud adoption is also relatively lengthy, with 66 percent of private cloud builds, and 51 percent of public cloud migrations, taking over a year.

Growth of virtualization is inevitable and exponential: The number of virtual machines in organizations is growing at a rate of 29 percent per year; compared to 13 percent for physical. With virtualization forming a crucial platform for cloud services, it suggests that the technology will favor a cloud approach in the future.

Organizations’ priorities are split: When asked how they prioritize workloads in their multi-cloud infrastructure, organizations were split between workload-based residence policies (27 percent of respondents), performance-based (23 percent), user-based (22 percent) and cost-based (13 percent). Ten percent had no clearly-defined residence policies.

“The cloud is the future of computing – increasingly, the question for organizations is when, not if, they make the move,” continued Crouchman. “However, organizations need to understand that the cloud does not follow the same rules as a traditional IT infrastructure, and adapt their approach accordingly. For instance, workload priorities are still treated as static. Yet the infrastructure housing those workloads, and the ongoing needs of the business, are completely fluid. An organization using the cloud should be able to adapt its workloads dynamically so that they always meet the business’s priorities at that precise time. Without this change in outlook, organizations will soon find themselves squandering the potential the cloud provides.”

Eric Senunas is VP of Marketing at VMTurbo.

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