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September 24, 2020 | Matt Brickey

Is Your Cloud Strategy Driving the Right Business Outcomes?

Even though most enterprises have deployed workloads in the cloud, many are still hitting roadblocks to cloud success. This is according to Forrester’s recent Opportunity Snapshot: Cloud Strategy Is Not Enough. Companies Need Cloud Service Partners to Achieve Their Cloud Goals.

In this post, I’ll summarize some of the findings from the study, including how and why many cloud strategies are missing the mark and what some business leaders are doing about it.

How and why cloud strategies fall short

It should be noted that 90% of respondents to the Forrester study claimed their cloud strategies are successful. Over half said that the cloud helped them be more flexible as a business (55%) and deploy applications faster (53%).

The areas where respondents felt their strategies fell short had less to do with the results achieved in the cloud as to with their ability to focus resources and manage costs. Cost optimization of their cloud was the top challenge, but many businesses had also fallen behind on their plan to migrate additional workloads to the cloud.

The top 5 challenges experienced by these enterprises were:

  1. Budget restraints
  2. Inability to migrate to the cloud for business reasons
  3. Lack of internal skills to influence change
  4. Inability to migrate workloads for technical reasons
  5. Lack of top management commitment

To address these issues, the overwhelming majority are turning to cloud service providers. In the Forrester study, 88% had already partnered with a cloud service provider, and another 11% planned to do so. If you do the math, that leaves a mere 1% of enterprises intent on doing everything in-house.

Also read: Six Tips for Controlling Cloud Spend in a Migration

What can a cloud service provider do for you?

The objectives that led respondents to partner with a cloud service provider varied widely, but the two most common were the ability to implement changes faster (53%) and the ability to optimize costs (51%). Perhaps more interesting are the benefits these organizations actually achieved:

  • 56% increased IT skills/talent.
  • 50% are able to migrate workloads to the cloud more quickly.
  • 47% achieve a faster time-to-value for their cloud investments.
  • 41% are now able to be proactive about cost optimization.

So, are these enterprises happy with their cloud partners? Well, 88% of respondents said they were either likely or very likely to invest in or increase their investment in cloud service partners over the next year.

That’s good news, but is it good enough?

The Forrester report paints a positive picture of how cloud service providers can help enterprises achieve their cloud objectives. And, remember, 90% of enterprise said their cloud strategies were a success, so evidently, cloud service providers are providing significant value.

But the real question that needs to be asked is: Does your cloud service provider help you achieve your cloud goals? More specifically:

  • Are you able to optimize costs?
  • Are you able to migrate workloads to the cloud according to plan?
  • Are you readily achieving value for your investments?
  • Do you have all your bases covered, e.g., disaster recovery, security, compliance, etc.?
  • Are you able to deploy applications quickly and monitor their performance?

Clearly, not everyone is achieving all of their objectives through their current cloud service provider. For example, a better cost structure is one of the primary reasons enterprises move workloads to the cloud. Yet, respondents mentioned cloud cost optimization as their top challenge, and only 41% said they were able to be proactive when it came to cloud cost management.

Also read: The Four Pillars of Provider Multicloud Management

Now is not the time to settle

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there are a lot of cloud service providers in the market, from small, local service firms to hyperscale providers. With 40 data centers across the U.S., TierPoint fits somewhere in the middle. We have the capacity to help our clients scale quickly, but we also offer the personalized services our clients need to create a cloud strategy that helps them reach their unique goals.

If your current provider hasn’t delivered on their promises or their business model no longer fits your goals, now is not the time to be complacent. For many enterprises, the cloud is the cornerstone of their business strategy, helping them serve customers better, drive down costs, and create a sustainable competitive advantage. You can’t afford to let the competition pass you by. Contact us today.

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