A recent analysis by Forrester Research, commissioned by XO Communications (News - Alert) and Juniper Research, found that only 20 percent of information technology decision makers were satisfied with the cost savings, but that other hoped-for advantages were not being seen.
Nobody should be surprised by this finding. Historically, most major new technology platforms and tools have taken a while to supply business value aside from recurring cost or capital investment benefits.
“While many enterprises are reporting cost savings by moving to cloud platforms, the reality is that very few enterprises have seen values outside of cost savings,” XO Communications says.
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“A major finding of the study contradicts one of the largest expectations IT professionals have when adopting cloud services: that the cloud provides them with a fast, easy set of IT resources,” the study says.
According to the study, only 20 percent of IT decision makers said they were very satisfied with cloud computing’s ability to deliver the benefits of on-demand resources.
Forrester Research (News - Alert) suggests that is because many aspects of the infrastructure and operations supporting cloud services have not been transformed in ways that allow cloud processes to deliver more benefit.
XO Communications argues that upgrades of the transport infrastructure are one reason cloud computing benefits beyond simple cost savings have lagged.
One might argue the wider business benefits will come, but only with time. In the past, information technology deployments have seen a productivity lag. More tactically, network services — ranging from bandwidth to load balancing — are often overlooked.
“The teams who procured CRM software-as-a-service didn’t include the networking team in the process and didn’t take into account they were moving the links from gigabit connections to T3. Sales got upset with us about the poor user experience,” one interviewed network and telecom manager at a global retail company said.
Many of the web and hosting providers themselves haven’t offered network monitoring, WAN optimization, or load balancers until recently, either.
This is not a new phenomenon with using cloud services, Forrester analysts say.
Past studies conducted by Forrester Research and client interactions revealed that data center virtualization and branch office consolidation efforts were being undertaken without consideration of the new stresses placed on the network and how they would affect infrastructure and operations efficiency, let alone user experience.
And not much has changed. According to this study, IT decision-makers prioritize five other IT initiatives (server upgrades, pursuing public cloud services, storage refresh, PC refresh, and updating security environments) over network upgrades or refreshes.
And those upgrades likely are affecting user perception of the value of cloud services.