A new survey by International Data Corporation (IDC) has discovered that European IT departments still need to make significant improvements before they have fully embraced cloud architectures and transformed themselves into internal (cloud) service providers. When asked to evaluate their current readiness to execute on their cloud strategy, European respondents admitted to unexpectedly low levels of confidence:
- 56 % of European IT departments cannot find qualified staff to effectively support cloud projects.
- 61 % are struggling to upskill their employees to effectively evaluate, negotiate contracts with, and manage relationships with cloud service providers.
- 70 % still need to learn how to make effective use of automation, self-service, and orchestration tools.
IDC’s CloudTrack Survey interviewed IT and non-IT staff at director level or above in 1,109 organizations globally, including 304 in Europe (100 in the U.K. and 102 in both France and Germany). The survey confirms what anecdotal evidence already suggested: the vast majority of European IT departments still require a great deal of transformation and need to invest further in people, process, and technology to mature their cloud architecture.
»The use of cloud computing as an increasingly business-critical technology is quickly changing how companies and institutions evaluate, procure, and deploy IT assets,« said Carla Arend, program director of IDC’s Cloud Practice. »However, the effective use of automation, self-service, and orchestration tools remains the biggest challenge for IT organizations, while accurately defining costs and implementing chargeback models is a struggle in the business and IT relationship. The transition to cloud computing requires change throughout the organization — in people, process, and technology.«
»Spending on cloud services and building blocks for cloud environments has seen strong 25 % growth in Europe over the past 12 months, but the push from service providers might start running out of steam in the coming years if IT buyers and line-of-business owners are not assessed in their cloud maturity level and then helped to systematically tackle hurdles to adoption,« said Giorgio Nebuloni, research manager, IDC’s Cloud Practice.
- IT organizations see themselves as service providers focused on business priorities. Almost half of the respondents have achieved this change in mindset, where IT departments have embraced the IT-as-a-service approach and are ready to negotiate service levels and serve their business users like a service provider. Only 5 % of respondents do not have this major transformation as an area of focus.
- Return on investment remains difficult to prove. Only around a third of European organizations are able to build a comprehensive business case for their cloud projects. Understanding all the implications, costs, and benefits of a transformational process like implementing cloud computing is tough, but without creating solid business cases it is hard to demonstrate the ultimate success of cloud projects.
- Ability to use cloud to drive business innovation and competitive advantage. 41 % use cloud to gain a business advantage, leaving 59 % of European organizations not able to take cloud projects beyond the level of IT infrastructure projects. The real benefits of cloud projects will only be realized if they are used to drive business innovation and competitive advantage.
A new IDC study (IDC MaturityScape: Cloud — A Guide for Success in Europe, IDC #CL03W, September 2014) provides more detailed analysis of the survey results. As a follow-on to this research, IDC has developed a quantitative methodology to assess organizational cloud maturity. This survey-based model allows IT buyers to benchmark their cloud maturity against their peers and receive specific guidance from IDC based on their maturity level. Cloud service providers or cloud enablers can also work with IDC to segment their customer or prospect base by cloud maturity to understand how to better help their customers in their cloud journey.