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Forrester: Frustration as businesses try to bundle cloud services

Trusted IT Partners Are Key To Business Customers’ Full Cloud Experience

While many factors are leading larger enterprises to eagerly turn to cloud infrastructure and services, an overwhelming majority consider themselves handicapped by an inability to tie together their cloud-based functions into a single, self-service dashboard, or “cloud ecosystem hub,” according to a recent report from Forrester Research.

Simplify And Innovate The Way You Consume Cloud, released by Forrester this past October as commissioned by Infosys, extensively surveyed 300 high-level tech decision-makers from major corporations spanning various sectors across North America, Europe and Australia.

The majority indicated they’ve migrated both mission-critical and secondary IT functions to a hybrid cloud infrastructure over just the past few years, leveraging the three areas of cloud computing: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS: Know the differences

Why Big Business Turns To The Cloud

77% of respondents indicated agility was the primary strategic benefit of the cloud, citing superior performance levels of key IT objectives:

Responsiveness.  Speedy implementation/deployment of new applications.

Resource Utilization.  Less dependence on in-house IT staff/equipment for routine tasks.

Collaboration.  Accelerated teamwork via cloud applications.

Innovation.  Empowering the enterprise to find new ways to achieve its core mission.

Bottlenecked:  Frustration For The End-User

However, while enterprises are increasingly enthusiastic about the potential of the cloud, the Forrester study indicates a vast majority are hindered by common stumbling blocks, specifically identifying a lack of self-service and transparency for the internal end-user:

73% of respondents considered their organization’s cloud self-service and transparency to be less than “sufficient,” because some or all of their cloud resources were available only through a cumbersome IT procurement process or via a service desk. Managers and employees were dependent on third parties, unable to subscribe or unsubscribe to cloud applications on their own.

83% revealed their cloud-based assets lacked a single one-stop, self-service hub.  Employees had to spend extra time to locate, request and manage cloud infrastructure and apps.

Forrester declared that these two factors represent “a severe impact on the operational performance of the cloud and its adoption.”

The Solution: User-Friendly Simplicity

The report suggests the most viable way to bridge this gap will be for companies to turn their attention toward operational simplicity–including recommendations such as single sign-on dashboards to effectively manage multi-vendor cloud apps including enterprise management, consolidated metering and billing, automated governance, risk and compliance (GRC) as well as “self-healing” technical support.

Forrester concludes the report by recommending companies pursue a comprehensive cloud ecosystem strategy with the assistance of a trusted integration partner, rather than solely relying on internal IT resources:

“We believe that trusted partners are key enablers that will help integrate and automate the orchestration of apps and data in a hybrid cloud environment. Enterprises should therefore focus on the companies that can help them effectively manage change and enable them to scale rapidly.”

Choosing The Right IT Partner

77% of respondents indicated they are already working with trusted partners to achieve their goal of cloud maturity–achieving optimal productivity via the cloud. The report cites that companies should base their choice of an integration partner around key criteria:

Thorough market knowledge, with the ability to “broker” between many vendors to provide cloud solutions which seamlessly dovetail with one another.
A “holistic”/big picture vision of the customer’s cloud infrastructure to optimize resources and productivity.
The capacity to securely integrate and automate data and applications between a public cloud, private cloud, and the customer’s onsite IT assets.

Throughout the early adoption of cloud computing, most companies constructed their cloud on their own, in a piecemeal, as-needed manner. The overall result, an unwieldy mish-mash of semi-compatible apps, rarely equalled the sum of its parts. ComputeNext’s unique cloud brokerage platform unleashes the full power of the cloud, enabling users to custom-design a dynamic cloud infrastructure from the most comprehensive selection of IaaS applications available today. This is all through a streamlined, single sign-on portal–to literally “keep the cloud under one umbrella”. To learn more about ComputeNext’s innovative cloud marketplace solutions, click here.

Image: Flikr/Kaytee Riek

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