Cloud computing is widely accepted as a key part of a modern IT infrastructure, but many organisations still lack a coherent cloud strategy, and smaller companies in particular dramatically underestimate the cost of building a private cloud, according to a new report.
The State of Multi-Cloud Architecture report found that a large number of organisations have no coherent strategy for making the best use of cloud computing. Many already use some form of cloud service, but lack plans for making the optimum use of private and public cloud options to meet IT service requirements.
A survey of 1,368 organisations found that 57 per cent have no multi-cloud strategy at all, while 35 per cent have no private cloud strategy and 28 per cent no public cloud strategy.
"A lack of cloud strategy doesn't mean an organisation has studied and rejected the idea of the cloud; it means it has given adoption little or no thought at all," said Charles Crouchman, chief technology officer of VMTurbo, which commissioned the report.
Having a cloud strategy means understanding the precise costs and challenges that the cloud will introduce, Crouchman added. This is vital for knowing how to make the cloud approach work for each particular organisation so they can choose the most cost-effective mix of on-premise and cloud-hosted services to meet their requirements.
"Without a strategy, organisations will condemn themselves to higher-than-expected costs, and a cloud that never performs to its full potential," Crouchman said.
Another finding in the survey is that many organisations underestimate the cost of deploying a private cloud, and that small-to-mid-size firms are the most notable for getting this wrong.
The report said that companies planning to build a private cloud gave an average estimated budget of $148,605 to complete the project, while those that had already completed a private cloud deployment reported an average of $898,508, a figure six times as large.
Experts predict that some form of hybrid cloud approach is likely to be the best strategy for the majority of organisations for some time to come, but the results show that many organisations need to plan for how they will make the optimum use of cloud services, and get a realistic idea of how much the different options will cost.
"An organisation using the cloud should be able to adapt its workloads dynamically so that they always meet the business's priorities at that precise time. Without this change in outlook, organisations will soon find themselves squandering the potential the cloud provides," Crouchman said.
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