Cloud Deployment at a Crossroads?
By now, you have to look long and hard to find a business hasn’t heard about the advantages it can gain by moving data to the cloud. The conventional wisdom has it that migrating to the cloud is no longer a question of if, but when.
At least on paper.
Rather than bounding into a new era of computing, the reality is that many organizations are still struggling to figure out the right cloud migration strategies.
There may no longer be much argument that cloud computing represents the future, but the reality is that line-of-business managers and their IT counterparts often find themselves working at cross purposes–leaving many organizations stuck in neutral when it comes to putting their cloud plans into practice.
Hurry up and Wait
Consider some of the findings turned up by a recent survey of IT and business executives conducted by Softchoice:
- Hiring continues to be a big problem, with 53% of the respondents saying that their organizations cannot recruit candidates with the needed skills to support their cloud initiatives.
- 42% of IT teams lack the tools and processes to manage a new procurement model.
- The talent shortage is hurting productivity, with 34% of respondents saying that their staff’s actions were responsible for causing cloud failures.
- Fewer than 14% of survey respondents rated their cloud deployments as being an “internal corporate standard.”
- More than three of five described their deployments as being either “limited” or in the “experimentation” stage.
- 48% of LOB managers don’t even bother consulting their CIOs or IT departments when it comes to tooling up.
Time for an Intervention
The net effect of all this is to slow–or, in some cases, put the kibosh indefinitely on–cloud transition plans. Given the obvious promise of the cloud, the findings present a confusing picture. This should be a slam dunk, right?
Unfortunately, major technology transitions are rarely ever so cut and dried.
That’s why they also represent an opportunity for MSPs to help get clients get on path.
Competition for tech talent has never been more intense, and it’s a seller’s market for job seekers with coveted cloud skills. Just as the skills shortage didn’t crop up yesterday, it’s not about to get resolved tomorrow. During the interregnum–however long it lasts–MSPs can fill the skills gap and supplement in-house IT requirements by parachuting in their own teams to help put client cloud strategies into action.
MSPs can also help break the internal logjams when LOB leaders wind up treating IT as their bureaucratic enemy, or, at best, a roadblock to avoid rather than a facilitator. They can help LOBs understand the risks they run by engaging in so-called “shadow IT” practices, where they go outside authorized channels to buy hardware and software. At the same time, experienced MSPs can help IT evolve its historically technology-centric approach to embrace a more strategic vision that gives primacy to the larger business goal of helping users in various departments become more efficient at their jobs.
Lastly, security remains the biggest perceived barrier to further cloud adoption. Cloud security must account with the new risk of unauthorized access and hijacking of accounts, as well as threats posed by malicious insiders. The upshot is that cybersecurity is rapidly evolving from an IT priority to a business priority. In the process, it’s also becoming one more area where MSPs can serve as key go-betweens, helping the relevant enterprise stakeholders recognize the demands of a changed technology and business environment.
This content is underwritten by VMware — and is editorially independent. It is produced in accordance with conventional standards of business journalism.
Charles Cooper is an award-winning freelance author who writes about business and technology. During his 30-plus year career, he has worked as an executive editor at several leading tech publications including CNET, ZDNet, PC Week and Computer Shopper.