Rarely would an IT manager cite a rollout of new technology that went completely to plan. Implementing cloud services is likely to be no exception, and with many organisations still working out what the cloud can do for them, this perhaps comes as no surprise. New ‘Journey to the Cloud’ research by UK IT managed service provider Redcentric found that nine out of ten organisations moving to the cloud are held back by hindrances that either delay or divert their route. Around half of those surveyed claimed that they were badly affected as a result of being held up, suggesting that the impact of a delay is more severe than diverting off course when deploying a new cloud service.

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Factors causing a delayed or diverted cloud journey often lie within the organisation itself. Almost a third of IT managers claimed that ‘gaining approval and internal sponsorship’ was one of the top reasons for a cloud delay, suggesting that a perception problem is stopping several organisations from rolling it out within their preferred timeframe. It can be difficult to convince those at board level that the cloud is a worthwhile approach, meaning that IT managers and CIOs have to work hard to ensure that the benefits are fully understood. It isn’t just getting the organisation on board that’s proving to be a challenge. The same amount of IT managers (one-third) also cited ‘cost-cutting’ as another reason for a delay, hinting that some are experiencing reduced budgets as the journey progresses.

Cost-Cutting is diverting the journey to the cloud

‘Cutting costs’ also scored as the top reason for a diverted cloud journey, cited by over a third of IT managers. This means that budget cuts not only postpone the process; it’s causing some organisations to take a different route altogether when they have started their journey to the cloud. This sits alongside ‘changing business objectives’, which was the second most common reason for a cloud implementation to be diverted. Organisations should be prepared to experience some obstacles along the way, but by using cloud services rather than on-premise, they will be less detrimental, so you can rest assured that you’re able to take a detour that still takes you to your intended destination.

Among these delays and diversions lie real concerns by IT managers with regards to business continuity. The majority (59%) say that they would feel most anxious about business downtime if their cloud strategy derailed, while nearly half (46%) cite concerns of service continuity/quality. Maintaining productivity appears to be a key priority when rolling out the cloud, as IT managers tend to be conscious about losing vital business during the transition.

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While cloud deployment is rarely without its risks, there are some precautions you can take to mitigate some obstacles. The following steps can help ease the process:-

  • Devise a rigorous plan: A lack of planning is often the reason behind experiencing setbacks when rolling out the cloud. Ensure you formulate a strategy that takes into account every stage required for a successful implementation, while developing a contingency plan that can prepare for possible obstructions.
  • Seek advice: In selecting the right managed service provider (MSP), you’ll have likely chosen someone who can adequately guide you and advise how to deal with any complications along the way. Once the MSP understands your organisation and what you require from the cloud, you can be confident that a tailored solution can mitigate common problems.
  • Involve stakeholders: Only by consulting people across the organisation will you truly identify what your business collectively needs from the cloud. In creating a dialogue between key stakeholders who will use the solution, you are more likely to build a cloud that fits the wider picture. As a result, your journey towards the cloud should take the right direction, meaning that there’s less of a chance of having to alter your strategy in the process.

That said, experimenting along the way can pay off. Don’t let thorough planning stop you from investigating the different ways you can benefit from the cloud; keep an open mind and be willing to alter your strategy. But as Redcentric’s research shows, obstacles that get in the way can be detrimental, so the need to map out a plan that keeps you on track is high. Benefits you can reap from the cloud are plentiful; and a smooth transition can enable a positive cloud experience right from the start.