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Cloud Apps Dramatically Impacting IT Pros and Businesses, While Security Remains a Pain Point

Cloud Applications 0914

Edward GatelyCloud applications are causing a shift in the skills of IT professionals and broadly impacting the culture in organizations, according to a new report by BetterCloud and 451 Research.

The report measures how cloud adoption, in particular Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps, is changing the way both IT people and end users work. It also evaluates the differences between Office 365 and Google Apps in terms of enterprise adoption and how well they fit workplace needs.

BetterCloud's Taylor GouldTaylor Gould, BetterCloud’s vice president of marketing, tells Channel Partners the most surprising finding was that 95 percent of respondents “feel that their current cloud office solution suits the needs of their workforce well or very well.”

“If you’re in this business as a partner or ISV, you hear about a lot of stories about end users resisting change, but our data shows that in general that opinion is clearly coming from a vocal minority,” he said.

The report is based on a survey of 269 organizations across a wide range of verticals, including respondents from midsize and large enterprises, and with job titles ranging from manager to C-level executive.

More than half (54 percent) of professionals report a reduction in the level of effort associated with storage management or data recovery, while the average level of effort associated with tasks across all categories is minimal upon migrating to the cloud, according to the report.{ad}

Among pain points, security continues to top the list of challenges, with about half (51 percent) of respondents including it among their top three choices, followed by service quality (30 percent) and integration with business systems/processes (27 percent).

Some 57 percent of Office 365 users and 37 percent of Google Apps users cited security as a top pain point.

“Channel partners are uniquely positioned and qualified to help address some of the pain points cited most commonly in the survey,” Gould said. “Migrating the core of mail, contacts and calendars is now relatively simple for the majority of customer environments, but more complex use cases for cloud applications (such as migrating a file server environment to Google Drive or OneDrive) represent more complex challenges, and partners can offer solutions through a mix of services and vendors to help their customers overcome these challenges.”

The rate of change for IT has increased exponentially as their organizations adopt cloud applications, he said.

“With update cycles measured in days and weeks instead of years, IT needs to develop a mindset of …

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… continuous learning, and channel partners can play a critical role in providing that information,” Gould said. “A potential value-add from channel partners can be simply consolidating this information in one place, filtering what’s relevant to the customer’s environment (e.g. Google Apps vs. Office 365), and potentially layering in advice specific to that customer.”

According to the survey, two-third (67 percent) of professionals get things done more quickly after migrating to the cloud; 52 percent said cloud migrations help them better satisfy end-user needs; and 41 percent said they feel more motivated and engaged after migrating to the cloud.

“The most important emerging trends are the new skills that IT professionals are learning and focusing on so that they can excel in their jobs in a true modern workplace environment,” Gould said. “When you remove a lot of the hardware complexity, much if not all on-premises infrastructure management, and replace those with a disparate suite of cloud applications that update themselves over the Internet and operate in a browser, you are completely changing the environment in which IT operates. But the respondents in this survey were very aware of that shift and are proactively working to gain the skills required for this new era.”


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