Based on a lot of what you read, it’s easy to think of the cloud as barrier-free, as simple as sign up and pay as you go. For those tasked with making these decisions and for maintaining service levels, however, this clearly isn’t the case.
In a recent webcast, Dennis Drogseth, Vice President of Research, Enterprise Management Associates offered an insightful slide listing the top barriers to cloud adoption in 2012. Here’s his list:
- Difficulty or cost of implementation
- Increased operational costs of IT management
- Lack of flexibility/ agility in offerings
- Degraded security/ risk
- Increased capital costs
- Human/ political issues
- Inadequate tools or processes for effective management
- Degraded/uncertain regulatory compliance
In reviewing this information, several barriers in particular seemed to be among the most vexing for many organizations today. Here’s an overview of some of these barriers, and some strategies for getting past them.
Increased Operational Cost of IT Management
In reality, this is a challenge that already confronted many organizations; the cloud is just exacerbating this issue. The challenge is that organizations are working with a number of disparate point solutions and complex, difficult to manage legacy solutions. The result is that IT management costs are already too high, and, if the cloud presents the need for an entirely new set of solutions, which have to be disparately deployed and managed, many cloud initiatives grow too costly to be feasible. To accomplish their cloud initiatives, while reducing the overall costs of IT management, organizations need to move away from having complex, disparate, and silo’d IT management toolsets, and start leveraging platforms that provide a centralized, cohesive way to manage all the distinct elements that underpin their on-premise data center—as well as their public, private, and hybrid clouds.
Lack of Flexibility / Agility in Offerings
To combat this challenge, look for SaaS solutions that enable you to tailor workflows and processes to your specific business needs, and to do so without any labor-intensive coding. The more laborious customization required for a cloud solution to work for your business, the more you’re negating the benefits of a cloud offering.
In addition, it’s important to note that, often, it’s not a particular cloud offering’s lack of flexibility that’s the problem, it’s a lack of flexibility associated with trying to weave any new offering into the existing service management environment. To overcome this barrier, your organization needs service management solutions that can help you quickly and safely adopt new technologies—so you can respond more quickly to changing business conditions. With the right solutions, you can leverage the flexibility of the cloud, and maximize service management flexibility and efficiency.
Inadequate Tools or Processes for Effective Management
In a recent post (IT’s new role, and how to succeed in it), Chris O’Malley outlined how IT teams are in the midst of a fundamental transition, going from being infrastructure operators to service brokers. Moving forward, the business will still come to IT with requests to support new services, but IT will be the broker, managing the delivery of these services through an increasingly diverse mix of cloud services, external hosting and service providers, consultants and internal staff.
In this service broker role, IT teams’ responsibility for managing service levels doesn’t go away, it only gets more critical and more challenging. In fact, I’d argue that, moving forward, one of the IT organization’s most critical roles will be tracking and optimizing service levels—and managing partners, vendors and staff to ensure commitments are met. That’s why inadequate tools can present such a significant obstacle to cloud adoption. Consequently, today, your organization needs to leverage advanced, yet easy-to-use IT service management capabilities that help ensure optimal service levels, no matter where or how services are sourced.
As compelling as the benefits of the cloud can be, the barriers outlined above can be equally daunting. Are these the obstacles your business is facing as it embarks on its cloud initiatives? Are there others you’re seeing that aren’t outlined above? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
For More Information
If you’re confronting barriers in moving forward with your cloud initiatives, I’d encourage you to learn more about Nimsoft solutions. For information about managing service levels in the cloud, be sure to download our white paper, “Ensuring High Service Levels for Public Cloud Deployments.” Also, you can check out “Moving Service Management to SaaS” for more information on the benefits of running a service desk in the cloud.