As hyperscale cloud vendors continue to introduce new features at a rapid pace, IT leaders worry that they may fall behind, according to a new survey by Commvault and CITO Research released Monday. Eighty-one percent of IT leaders report to be either extremely concerned or very concerned about missing out on cloud advancements.
In trying to keep up with the cloud advancements across the major cloud providers, IT leaders rely on tech publications (60 percent), in-person networking with colleagues (60 percent), and staff (45 percent) to keep them in the loop. Interestingly, only 33 percent of respondents said that they read vendor websites, and are more likely to attend a conference (44 percent) or network online with colleagues on Twitter or LinkedIn (49 percent). The findings here show that word-of-mouth marketing certainly is far from dead, with most IT pros relying on trusted recommendations or input about how they should be spending cloud budgets.
Cloud budgets are set to increase across the board next year, according to the survey which found that 87 percent of respondents plan to increase their budgets, while only 4 percent of respondents plan to cut back. These findings are in line with recent research from IDC which found that total spending on IT infrastructure products for deployment in cloud environments is set to increase 12.4 percent year over year in 2017 to $40.1 billion.
Anxiety around falling behind on cloud advancements has not put a damper on cloud adoption, according to the report. Ninety-three percent of respondents said they are moving processes to the cloud, while 37 percent said they have already identified their ideal footprint and have begun the process of migration. Only 6 percent of respondents said they do not have a cloud migration plan, while 24 percent of respondents describe themselves as a cloud only organization.
The top reasons IT leaders say their organization is embracing the cloud is business agility which allows them to focus on the customer, cost savings, and enabling innovations and development of new services. One of the other benefits in moving to the cloud cited by IT leaders is that they see better value from IT staff by being able to focus more on innovation rather than administration.
While IT leaders generally feel good about the cloud, there continue to be cloud migration challenges. The top challenges to cloud migration, according to the survey, are the volume of data to move (68 percent), the need to develop staff skills and acquire talent to take on new projects (65 percent), policy management around cloud and on-premises data (55 percent), understanding how to use cloud services (50 percent), and convincing business executives of the cloud’s benefits (48 percent).