Canadian Underwriter

North American organizations experiencing slow shift to public cloud: Softchoice study

May 20, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Transitioning to public cloud is a slow-moving process for most businesses, according to a new study by Softchoice, a North American IT solutions and managed services provider.

Released on Tuesday, the study, titled The State of Cloud Readiness: Transformation and Strategic Adoption Measured, found that while progress is at hand, about 61% of surveyed organizations are still experimenting with (23%) or have limited use (37.5%) of public cloud and 13.5% consider public cloud to be an internal corporate standard. Just over a quarter (26%) say that public cloud is in “widespread use.”

iStock_000070399799_SmallThe study involved a survey of 250 senior IT decision-makers and 250 line of business managers across Canada and the United States to understand how well IT teams currently meet the needs of the business, and measure the progress made toward strategic cloud adoption.

“Today, moving to the cloud is no longer a question of if, but when,” said David MacDonald, president and CEO at Softchoice, in a press release. “However, many organizations are stuck in endless pilots or are hesitant to migrate to the public cloud in a meaningful way because they lack the strategy, skillsets and governance structures to build and maintain a fully realized cloud solution.”

softchoiceAmong the study’s findings:

  • 54% of IT leaders report their teams struggle to form an effective cloud strategy, and 52% lack a formalized cloud strategy altogether (of the latter number, 13.5% have no formal public cloud strategy and 39% have no formal strategy, but are running pilots);
  • 53% of IT leaders are struggling to acquire the necessary skills to support cloud initiatives within their organizations while almost half indicate staff training is not a priority, suggesting organizations may be avoiding short-term expenses at the cost of a major competitive disadvantage in the future;
  • 57% of IT leaders report exceeding cloud budgets, while 44% struggle to hold lines of business accountable for cloud spending;
  • A vast majority (65%) of line of business managers consider IT as a ‘cost centre’ and only 28% feel that their IT departments spend “plenty” of time on strategic projects to support their team’s objectives; and
  • Half of IT leaders have had to cancel or postpone an important initiative due to the IT department’s inability to provide the necessary resources or support. However, 46% think their teams would be less likely to cancel or postpone major initiatives if they have the “right” infrastructure in place.

“Embracing the cloud marks a turning point for IT leaders in how they augment their teams, manage budget and collaborate across their organizations,” MacDonald said in the press release. “The transition, however, is complex and organizations need to carefully assemble the right strategy, people and processes in order to unlock the public cloud’s diverse benefits.”