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Our latest Pulse Survey was conducted in July and August 2017, and captured the views of 1,600 senior IT professionals. The results show IaaS adoption continued to grow in the three months following the previous survey, and how attitudes to IaaS are increasingly positive.
While approaches to data security will often be linked to which IaaS provider a company uses, less than one-third of businesses view it as a major issue: only 32 percent cite it as one of their top three challenges when rolling out IaaS.
Data security was also a significant issue for businesses in the earlier Pulse Survey, and the number of companies citing it as their top challenge has risen by six percentage points. It is possible that recent high-profile security breaches, such as the WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya ransomware attacks, as well as the impending GDPR deadline, have raised awareness and increased concerns.
Yet businesses are likely to find that the benefits of moving to IaaS outweigh the challenges—particularly when it comes to security. More than half (52 percent) report improved security after they adopted IaaS, while 63 percent agree that IaaS services provide best practice security for enterprise architecture.
As IaaS adoption grows and the technology matures, the availability of staff with specialist skills is being outstripped by demand. More than one-fifth (28 percent) of companies say that IT skills shortages have been one of their top issues in rolling out IaaS—up from 21 percent three months ago.
In fact, in that time the skills gap has risen from being the third most problematic issue around IaaS to the second.
Chart 8: What respondents would do differently
In what is likely to be a symptom of the skills shortages, a notable proportion of businesses feel that they could have benefited from more outside expertise with IaaS deployments.
Asked what they would do differently if they were to begin their IaaS deployment afresh, businesses most commonly agree they would ‘work with external advisors to better understand the technology’ (33 percent).
Companies’ willingness to engage with third parties on IaaS underscores the significance of such deployments to the business: that they would be prepared to spend more on rolling out IaaS suggests they believe its potential value to be considerable. The use of external advisors may also reflect businesses’ interest in having independent insight into the range of service providers and tools currently on the market, as well as the functionality that will be available in future.
Chart 9: Adoption challenges in EMEA
Among EMEA businesses, we see differences in where they feel IaaS problems are most likely to be found: some say they lie with the user; others with the supplier.
Larger percentages of UK businesses cite in-house problems as being among their greatest challenges when they adopt IaaS. For example, 15 percent say that a skills gap in the company has been their biggest issue, while 14 percent cite cost overruns. In Germany and Italy, those figures are 7 percent and 10 percent, respectively. As in the UK, the biggest challenge experienced in Saudi Arabia has been cost overruns (13 percent).
For German businesses, on the other hand, vendors are more likely to cause IaaS issues than they are in the UK: 9 percent say that the lack of maturity of vendors’ IaaS deployment offerings has caused their greatest problems, compared with three percent in the UK. Meanwhile, 9 per cent say they’ve had difficulties with vendor lock-in, against 2 percent in Italy.
IT departments have been using IaaS as a way to free staff from the repetitive work of maintaining hardware and updating software, but they could be missing a trick when it comes to the IaaS adoption process itself.
Nearly a quarter of businesses (22 percent) say that if they were to start their IaaS deployment from scratch, they would use automated migration tools. Oracle’s Ravello, for instance, enables organizations to seamlessly migrate their existing data center workloads to cloud platforms without the need for any costly or risky modifications.
For most IaaS adopters, the migration process was smoother than they anticipated: 58 percent found the migration easier than expected and over half (54 percent) say that migration to IaaS is no more challenging than any other server changeover, and can be far easier. These numbers are likely to grow as automated migration tools, which help ease deployments, become more prevalent.