Snow Software study uncovers the realities vs. the promises of cloud

26 October, 2021 –Snow Software, the global provider of technology intelligence, unveiled findings from its most recent survey, based on the input from more than 500 IT leaders from organisations with over 500 employees in the United States and United Kingdom to determine the current state of cloud infrastructure.

The study found that while 68% of IT leaders now have a hybrid cloud strategy consisting of both public and private clouds, these organisations are immersed in the realities of what this deployment means for their organisations and are experiencing an array of cloud and infrastructure management challenges despite making this move. The data suggests that while cloud is positioned as a faster, more secure, and ultimately more affordable alternative to private and on-prem infrastructure, it is one piece of the IT management puzzle and not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Approximately one-third (33%) of IT leaders stated that mounting cybersecurity threats are their greatest infrastructure management challenge. Lack of integration between new and old infrastructure technologies (26%), meeting governance and compliance requirements (25%), and managing spend (24%) closely followed as additional areas they’re dealing with. Perhaps unsurprisingly, mitigating concerns about cybersecurity protections (24%) is at the top of IT leaders’ list of cloud management challenges they’d wish to solve in the blink of an eye along with a lack of skilled IT staff (18%) and lack of cloud standardisation (14%).

“Cloud infrastructure was positioned to IT leaders as the ultimate solution to many of their management challenges. While the promise of cloud agile, fast, affordable, and more secure can be realised, organisations often underestimate the full scope of what is needed to truly reap these benefits,” says Alastair Pooley, chief information officer at Snow. “On top of that, organisations implementing a cloud infrastructure are not only dealing with technological complexities but are also challenged to find and retain the people with the right skills to effectively implement and manage cloud. More than ever, the scope of the challenge underscores the value of having end-to-end, hybrid infrastructure visibility across spend, governance, compliance and security such as that provided by Snow’s Technology Intelligence platform.”

Additional key findings from the study include:

  • Cloud proved its worth during the pandemic, with no end to its growth trajectory in sight
    • Nearly half of IT leaders (46%) claim cloud services have been critical to operations during the pandemic; as a result, seven out of 10 (71%) executives have increased overall cloud spend in the last 12 months. This is a 26.7% increase compared to the 2020 findings, with 56% of IT leaders expecting to increase their cloud spend.
    • Another 70% of IT leaders have increased the use of public cloud platforms, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, etc.
    • One-third of IT leaders (33%) added an additional 26-50% capacity to their organisations’ cloud resources in the past year.
  • Scalability and flexibility are among the driving forces for cloud as we move toward a hybrid work era
    • Scalability and flexibility (22%) are the main reasons organisations rely on cloud computing, with another 17% of IT executives stating it is the best environment to develop, test and launch products and services.
    • 44% of IT leaders believe they will add to cloud services to support demand as hybrid working becomes the norm.
  • Cybersecurity protection is a driver for cloud adoption, but also a key concern
    • 11% of IT executives rely on cloud computing for built-in and tested cybersecurity protections, in addition to backing up and storing data (12%).
    • Cybersecurity threats are also key management challenges that, as noted, IT leaders would most like to solve. While the promises of cloud security can be recognised, applications are where vulnerabilities are most likely to occur. Many IT departments are not equipped with the right staff/skillset to adapt their security approach at the pace needed for ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.
  • We need to better enable IT staff with the right knowledge and skillsets required for cloud infrastructure management
    • 63% of C-level IT executives rated themselves as experts in their knowledge of the different types of cloud (private, public and hybrid), and view cloud as critical to business operations, along with three-quarters of company owners.
    • However, only 20% of IT managers, and just under one-third of IT directors (32%), rated themselves as experts.
    • This disparity in understanding and skill related to cloud creates additional challenges for companies as they move to hybrid and multi-cloud architectures, indicating that greater education is needed for mid-level executives to manage cloud infrastructure effectively.

For more information about Snow’s latest survey, please visit: here.

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