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It Operations in Flux as Cloud Computing Adoption Increases, Survey Finds

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Credit: India Daily Photo

A recent survey finds that with increasing reliance on cloud computing, IT executives are uncertain about the role of IT operations but also plan to invest in the internal staff and tools needed to manage service delivery in the cloud. Conducted by independent firm Gatepoint Research and commissioned by ScienceLogic Inc., the cloud computing survey canvassed the opinions of more than 100 IT directors and above in mid-to-large enterprises in North America.

In general, the research indicates that IT executives view the cloud favorably and expect to see benefits, including fewer application availability and performance issues, but question the role of IT operations as a result of increased adoption:

  • 79% of respondents cited they are running some production applications in the cloud, but 64% of these said they run less than a quarter of their production applications in the cloud.
  • A slight majority of IT executives expect that a move to the cloud will simplify and even reduce the need for the IT operations function.
  • At the same time, a small majority of executives believe the cloud will reduce the number of IT functional silos and foster greater cross-silo collaboration.
  •  Respondents also foresee IT operations costs (people and tools) decreasing slightly as services are moved to the cloud.

Other survey results strongly indicate that IT executives expect the IT operations function to play an important role in managing cloud resources and service delivery, especially as organizations rely on a mix of data center and cloud computing environments:

  • 47% of respondents expect to train existing IT operations staff for the cloud rather than add staff, while 31% expect to hire additional cloud-trained staff. Twenty-two percent are still unsure.
  • 65% of respondents plan to use on-premise tools to monitor the performance of services they run in the cloud. Only 17% expect to rely solely on their cloud service provider to provide performance metrics.
  •  64% anticipate they will need new management tools as they move more systems and services to the cloud. Nearly one third are not yet sure of their future needs.

"These survey results are not surprising considering the daunting task of managing application performance across a mix of data center and cloud environments, and organizations are trying to determine how the cloud will impact both internal operations as well as service delivery," says Steve Harriman, senior vice president of marketing for ScienceLogic. "The role of IT operations could diminish as cloud services become easily accessible to end users with minimal IT intervention. But for most enterprises, the IT operations function is the interface between IT and the business, providing critical visibility and support that will be increasingly important and challenging as services move into the cloud."

An Interop Las Vegas 2011 survey of more than 150 IT professionals conducted by ScienceLogic in May found similar results. More than 70 percent of respondents had deployed or plan to deploy cloud computing, but nearly as many admitted to not having confidence in their strategy for managing the performance of those cloud computing resources. However, the majority of attendee respondents agreed that their existing IT operations staff will manage cloud performance rather than adding new staff with cloud skills.



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