A major expectation gap exists between what IT managers hoped the public cloud would deliver for their organizations and what has actually transpired, a Cohesity survey of 900 senior IT decision makers reveals.
More than 9 in 10 of respondents across Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States believed when they started their journey to the cloud it would simplify operations, increase agility, reduce costs, and provide greater insight into their data.
However, of those that felt the promise of public cloud hadn’t been realized, 91 percent believe it is because their data is greatly fragmented in and across public clouds and could become nearly impossible to manage long term.
“While providing many needed benefits, the public cloud also greatly proliferates mass data fragmentation,” said Raj Rajamani, vice president of products, Cohesity. “We believe this is a key reason why 45 percent of respondents say their IT teams are spending between 30 and 70 percent of their time managing data and apps in public cloud environments today.”
Mass data fragmentation refers to the growing proliferation of data spread across a myriad of different locations, infrastructure silos, and management systems that prevents organizations from fully utilizing its value – including but not exclusive to public cloud environments.
There are several factors contributing to mass data fragmentation in the public cloud. First, many organizations have deployed multiple point products to manage fragmented data silos, but that can add significant management complexities.
The survey, commissioned by Cohesity and conducted by Vanson Bourne, found that nearly half (44 percent) are using 3-4 point products to manage their data – specifically backups, archives, files, test/dev copies – across public clouds today, while nearly one fifth (17 percent) are using as many as 5-6 separate solutions.
Respondents expressed concerns about using multiple products to move data between on-premises and public cloud environments if those products don’t integrate. 58 percent are concerned about security, 46 percent worry about costs, and 42 percent are concerned about compliance.
Additionally, data copies can increase fragmentation challenges. A third of respondents (33 percent) have four or more copies of the same data in public cloud environments, which can not only increase storage costs but create data compliance challenges.
“The public cloud can empower organizations to accelerate their digital transformation journey, but first organizations must solve mass data fragmentation challenges to reap the benefits,” continued Rajamani. “Businesses suffering from mass data fragmentation are finding data to be a burden, not a business driver.”
Disconnect between senior management and IT
IT leaders are also struggling to comply with mandates from senior business leaders within their organization. Almost nine in ten respondents (88 percent) say that their IT teams have been given a mandate to move to the public cloud by senior management.
However, nearly half of those respondents (41 percent) say they are struggling to come up with a strategy that effectively uses the public cloud to the complete benefit of the organization.
“Nearly 80 percent of respondents stated their executive team believes it is the public cloud service provider’s responsibility to protect any data stored in public cloud environments, which is fundamentally incorrect,” said Rajamani. “This shows executives are confusing the availability of data with its recoverability. It’s the organization’s responsibility to protect its data.”
Despite these challenges, more than nine in ten (91 percent) believe that the public cloud service providers used by their organization offer a valuable service. The vast majority (98 percent) expect that their organization’s public cloud-based storage will increase by 93 percent on average between 2018 and the end of 2019.
Nearly nine in ten (88 percent) believe the promise of the public cloud can be better realized if solutions are in place that can help them solve mass data fragmentation challenges across their multi-cloud environments.
Respondents believe there are numerous benefits that can be achieved by tackling data fragmentation in public cloud environments, including generating better insights through analytics / artificial intelligence (50 percent), improving the customer experience (47 percent), and maintaining or increasing brand reputation and trust by reducing risks of compliance breaches (46 percent).
“It’s time to close the expectation gap between the promise of the public cloud and what it can actually deliver to organizations around the globe,” said Rajamani. “Public cloud environments provide exceptional agility, scalability, and opportunities to accelerate testing and development, but it is absolutely critical that organizations tackle mass data fragmentation if they want the expected benefits of cloud to come to life.”
“Given the amount of data organizations accumulate on a daily basis, it’s almost inevitable that without proper management, organizations were going to lose control of their data,” said Katie Noyce, research manager, Vanson Bourne.
“This problem is now impacting organizations’ ability to make the best use of the public cloud. Over nine in ten (91%) of those who feel the promise of this service hasn’t been realized attribute this failure to the fact that their data is greatly fragmented. It seems like a no-brainer that organizations need to get a hold on their data, before it gets a hold on them.”