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Managing Cloud Workloads Not So Easy for IT

A new survey finds that while cloud is supposed to ease the burden on IT departments, many IT directors and executives say that managing public cloud workloads is a chore. Seventy percent, in fact, according to the survey from Seattle-based 2nd Watch.

Of that group, nearly half (30 percent overall) said it was extremely difficult, while the remainder (40 percent overall) said it was no more difficult than managing internal systems.

“We discovered from the survey that many organizations encounter operational challenges after migrating applications to the cloud with their existing tools and service providers,” said Joel Rosenberger, EVP of managed services at 2nd Watch. “There’s a perception that managing IT workloads in the cloud is a snap, but clearly that’s not the case. In speaking with our customers, we see that companies are now looking externally for help with integrating processes and tools to manage workloads in the cloud to ensure operational excellence.”

2nd Watch found that nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of companies use several commercial tools designed specifically for managing and orchestrating cloud-based workloads and resources. Approximately one in five (20 percent) are evaluating such tools. Only 3 percent use strictly home-grown or open-source tools for this purpose. A large share of these tools are provided by respondents’ cloud IaaS providers, such as AWS, Azure or Google (50 percent), while the next largest category (30 percent) use tools provided by legacy software vendors such as CA, BMC and IBM. 2nd Watch says companies are primarily using these tools to monitor and improve end-user performance (45 percent) or to monitor and improve end-user security (32 percent), over optimizing cloud resources for business agility or for tracking spending.

The survey also revealed that integration for visibility is a major priority. Almost half (46 percent) of respondents said their company’s cloud management tools are integrated to provide a “single pane of glass” view into cloud risk and usage. About 38 percent said their tools are partially integrated for this purpose. The top capability that IT executives report as missing from their public cloud workload management solutions is improved integration to other data sources (41 percent), followed by better reporting features and metrics (27 percent).

Other highlights:

  • More than half (55 percent) of IT directors surveyed said they’re gaining the ROI they expected from cloud management tools and services. About one-third said they haven’t realized ROI yet, but they’re getting there.
  • Most companies use outside firms to help migrate and/or manage their public cloud workloads (45 percent), or are evaluating such managed service providers (39% percent). Only 15 percent of companies are managing this process internally.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.


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