As cloud continues to pervade businesses, the primary role of central IT will be to protect sensitive data, maintain centralised software and optimise IT spending, managing chargebacks to line of business.
This is the key takeaway from a study published by IDC and Red Hat. Entitled ‘How IT is planning for its hybrid reality’, the study examines how many of the challenges facing IT with the proliferation of cloud relate back to business rather than technology.
The accompanying survey, which polled over 200 IT professionals in North America, found that 69% of respondents were using at least four public cloud IaaS platforms today, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, Rackspace, and IBM SoftLayer.
IDC notes the fractured landscape of the IaaS market with this data, although related research suggests a clear pecking order and dominant players, with AWS ahead of Microsoft.
This shared ownership demands a new management model, according to the report. Even though organisations are taking a hybrid cloud approach, cloud management tools have yet to catch up, requiring greater degrees of application and data portability, along with a greater number of integration points.
Primary challenges in creating a new management model include developing a public cloud governance strategy, cited by 35% of respondents, as well as unifying the management of public and private cloud resources (25%). Just under a third (32%) of respondents said they were allowing users to manage cloud services on their own, while 36% said they were enabling IT to enforce policy while looking for ways to allow users to manage their own cloud services.
It’s a clear sign for executives to change. 45% of respondents cite deploying a unified cloud management platform as one of their top five initiatives going forward, although problems with deploying it include managing chargebacks and SLA reports for the business, as well as ensuring alignment between business and IT goals.
One of the more interesting facets to come out from this research goes against the commonly held belief that IT is unaware of how IT services are swapping over to cloud providers. “Respondents displayed awareness of the proliferation of public cloud services, and they do recognise the need to increase their level of responsiveness to users, even if IT believes it is already offering a reasonable set of services,” the report notes.
Gordon Haff, a cloud strategist at Red Hat, said of the results: “Augmenting in-house IT with public clouds can help organisations develop the applications and services the business needs faster and deliver them more flexibly. However, a completely ad hoc approach to using public clouds is a recipe for high costs and compliance failures.
“A cloud management strategy lets you take advantage of new and innovative cloud platforms while maintaining control of IT and protecting the business,” he added.
You can take a look at the full report here.