Getting Cloud Providers and Cloud Buyers to Speak the Same Language

The Everest Group and Cloud Connect have just revealed the results of their global enterprise cloud adoption survey. The survey honed in on the perspective of cloud buyers but also involved the insights of providers of cloud services and cloud advisors.

It’s clear from the survey that there is a disconnect between what organisations want in the cloud and what providers think they want. Both groups also place emphasis on different areas when it comes to the perceived challenges of incorporating cloud into the enterprise IT environment. How can these two groups get on the same page?

Flexibility or lower IT prices? 

Organisations are choosing the cloud mainly for its flexibility and the reduced time to provision it offers, according to the survey. Cloud providers, however, think businesses are buying up their services to curb IT costs.

Does this disagreement matter if an organisation can achieve all of these cloud benefits in the end? Absolutely. Organisations seriously considering the cloud are hopefully past the point of wanting it to solve all their problems. They’ve made a business case and identified how the cloud fits in with the IT-business strategy. While reducing TCO is paramount to a lot of organisations right now, there’s more to what the cloud offers a business — namely innovation, allowing IT resources to be more strategic and being able to quickly deliver business-critical applications.

Instead of running the risk of having their needs misunderstood, organisations should choose a cloud provider that will do an audit of their IT environment and ask questions about their business strategy. Cloud has too many options — SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, private, public, hybrid — to be approached from a single vantage point.

Finding the common ground in cloud challenges

Another area where cloud providers and buyers differ is in ascertaining the chief barriers to enterprise cloud adoption. Here, the two camps are clearly at odds: cloud buyers think IT management will gladly oversee cloud services while providers think management is actually unwilling to take ownership.

Like many other IT solutions, the cloud performs well if it’s managed well. While it can take many burdens off IT’s shoulders, it’s not a solution that runs itself. Organisations need to be honest with themselves about their capacity to manage cloud and go with a managed service if it makes sense for their business. If you leave infrastructure management to the professionals, for instance, you not only reduce your IT department’s management tasks, but free them up for more innovative, strategic IT undertakings such as creating new applications and tools.

Do you think your organisation is ready for cloud? Read our cloud buying checklist to begin understanding your needs and options.

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