Originally published in IT Wire

ADAPT’s Cloud Migration Study, an aggregation of results sourced from a bi-annual survey conducted since 2019 and involving a combined sample size of 1,043 local chief information officers, chief information security officers, cloud, data centre and digital leaders, predicts the share of IT storage and processing performed by public cloud environments will rise to 47% by 2023, an increase of 10% over the current levels.

“The onset of COVID-19 gave digital transformation leaders the impetus to move IT processing to cloud environments, but organisations acting on a new sense of urgency soon found themselves dealing with challenges they hadn’t expected,” explains Adapt director of strategic research Matt Boon.

Survey respondents reported the following top challenges during cloud migration:

  • Dealing with legacy systems and applications (52%)
  • Architectural challenges (46%)
  • Compliance issues (43%)
  • Lack of internal cloud expertise (37%)
  • Data security (36%)
  • Higher than expected cost of migration (32%)
  • Higher than expected cost of ongoing operations (32%)

Boon says cloud initially promised to make life easy for organisations by offering lower costs, better data visibility, and more efficient workflows, but pointed out:

But a lack of planning by organisations and interoperability between vendors has left many cloud customers feeling as though their migration has been an expensive misadventure.”

18% of organisations are now using more than five public cloud environments but 9% are moving workloads back from public cloud, which may suggest a re-evaluation of cloud strategy, the research shows.

“Many have found themselves frustrated by complex multi-cloud environments, each with their own protocols and configurations needing even more investment and expertise to manage. This has led to a rethink of design, and in some cases a walking-back of initiatives to the relative comfort of in-house colocation or private clouds,” Boon elaborates.

The findings also reveal public cloud workloads are relied upon to support key operations, and the results say productivity tools, customer apps, collaboration tools, mission-critical IT applications and data storage expected to consume 62% of cloud workloads by 2023.

Boon says migration of these workloads is too important to take lightly, and in order to make sure initiatives succeed, both vendors and organisations need to adjust their thinking.

“A wider choice of highly competitive cloud providers is benefiting organisations in their procurement process, but the reduced visibility over data and workloads from multiple providers isn’t serving customers at all,” Boon recommends.

Cloud providers need to recognise the complexity customers face with multi-cloud environments and try to work cooperatively with other vendors to give organisations a better view of their assets.”

“The most successful technology leaders understand the importance of an ‘outcome-first’ over a ‘cloud-first’ mindset, and assess the best option for their workloads before going ‘all-in’,” Boon concludes.

If the case for public cloud is strong enough, they take the time to properly audit their assets and develop frameworks which offer the right combination of portability and security.”