Although businesses want to move operations to the cloud, they are currently creating additional technical complexity and recruitment challenges in the process.
This is according to a new survey by cloud provider Skytap and 451 Research.
The report, ‘Realities of enterprise modernization: Urgency mounts for a clear path to cloud’, found that more than 80 per cent of technology leaders manage more than 100 applications, with 74 per cent stating at least half of these applications are on-premises.
Researchers also found that the urgency to use cloud for application modernisation is reaching a tipping point, with 67 per cent of respondents planning to migrate or modernise at least half their on-premises applications in the next 12 to 24 months.
As a result of this process, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they will expect better customer responsiveness and to be more competitive.
However, at least half of the respondents cite common, core business applications – including customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and data analytics – as least-suited for hyper-scale clouds. They also report that a lack of skills to manage these applications and an inability to deliver new features are some of the most significant current challenges in their operations.
Despite this, enterprises are “choosing the path of most resistance, unintentionally creating a self-induced cloud skills gap”, according to Skytap.
The research found that the two top-ranked strategies businesses adopt when they migrate traditional applications to the cloud involve the highest level of IT skills, with 49 per cent saying refactoring or rewriting applications is their primary modernisation strategy.
According to Skytap, “embarking on the most arduous path to cloud” could be why 55 per cent of survey respondents said professionals capable of migrating existing applications to the cloud was their most critical recruiting need.
Jay Lyman, principal analyst at 451 Research, said: “Enterprises are motivated by the clear benefits to leverage cloud services to modernise their IT environment.
“However, the sheer mass and complexity of on-premises application portfolios, combined with the propensity for some to choose the most arduous path to cloud by re-writing and re-architecting, creates a painful skills challenge that requires a more patient, progressive approach to achieve success.”