Cloud migration continues to gather pace, but experts urge users to practice caution

Cloud migration continues to gather pace, but experts urge users to practice caution (iStock)

The cloud has had a significant impact on the way in which many companies operate their IT systems, bringing levels of flexibility that would have been way beyond the possibilities that come with on-premise solutions.

The cost-savings of the cloud have only helped to further enhance the technology's appeal, with vendors offering increasingly competitive prices for customers operating in various sectors.

Nevertheless, the rise of the cloud in terms of adoption rates has still proved something of a surprise, with enterprises making a move to the technology faster than experts could have ever previously anticipated.

A recent survey released by Uptime Institute found that 50 per cent of senior IT executives expect the majority of their company's IT workload to be carried out through the cloud or in co-location sites at some point during the future.

Out of the 1,000 respondents to have taken part in the survey, 23 per cent expect the shift to happen at some point next year, while another 70 per cent anticipate it will happen over the next four years.

Those results may come as a worry to IT teams working with on-site solutions, many of whom will feel as though the cloud has placed their relevance within the workplace under threat.

However, it would be a fallacy to suggest that implementing the cloud is as straightforward as installing the software and simply letting everything sort itself. A successful cloud system will still need a team to manage the technical and managerial side of things.

Even the process of identifying what technologies are actually needed within a system is a task that requires expert help.

Brushing off challenges

There is little doubting that the implementation of the cloud is a process that brings plenty of challenges with it, but there has nevertheless been a noticeable momentum towards such solutions.

Half of the companies to participate in the survey saw either flat or shrinking budgets for on-site data centres over the course of the last five years, with just ten per cent reporting any kind of substantial growth.

That halt in investment for on-premise technology comes despite the fact that on-site services are still relatively commonplace for many enterprises, with 71 per cent currently employing such technology.

Many of these enterprises will be well-versed in the level of work needed to keep these systems running, but the report has warned that the increasing number of companies turning to the cloud should not underestimate the levels of responsibility involved.  

It concludes: "IT as a whole needs to move away from its current role as a slow-moving centralised provider, and instead direct corporate governance across the various business lines – evaluating security, costs, and performance of IT for the business. Additionally, legacy enterprise IT groups need to develop clearer messages to the business to articulate their value and efficacy."