Tech leaders are increasingly turning to the cloud for cost savings and convenience, but barriers including security and reliability remain.
As many IT budgets increase slightly in 2018, cloud services are a top area where companies are planning to spend money, according to a recent Tech Pro Research survey. But security, reliability, and cost concerns have prevented some from making a complete migration to the cloud.
Some 95% of IT professionals surveyed by SolarWinds in 2017 said they had migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year. However, only between 5% and 7% of the world's workloads have moved to the cloud, according to Constellation Research.
We surveyed the TechRepublic CIO Jury panel about their plans for cloud migration in the coming year. When asked "Will your company move more systems to the cloud in 2018?", nine tech leaders said yes, while three said no.
SEE: Cloud migration decision tool (Tech Pro Research)
"Despite concerns over security, and more and more publicized events of hacks and data leaks, the need for a globalized and location independent workforce has moved us towards moving all of our systems to a public cloud infrastructure," said Michael Hayes, founder and CIO of Darby Hayes Consulting LLC. "As an SMB, we don't yet have the resources to devote to private cloud development, so we will rely on the security measures of Amazon Web Services, combined with defense-in-depth backups and disaster recovery methods to ensure the safety of our data."
Cory Wilburn, CIO of the Texas General Land Office, said his organization will be looking to move systems that would benefit from cloud architecture, such as those with highly variable transaction volumes, and that do not need to deeply integrate with other systems.
At architectural design firm Payette, IT director Dan Gallivan said he is planning to migrate more systems to the cloud, with a couple of projects currently underway.
"[The cloud has] been allowing us to improve our business continuity and carries into our DR plans, leveraging cloud technologies," Gallivan said. "We've migrated email, project management functions and image assets for marketing, as well as HR functions and IT DevOps; next will be focusing on accounting."
At military contractor VectorCSP, IT will be moving company email system to the cloud. "Specifically, we are moving to the Office 365 network for e-mail to provide more reliability in case of local emergencies," IT services director David Wilson said. "Our main data will still be kept in house."
Similarly, Jerry Justice, CIO of the business law firm Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, said his firm's plans to shift to the cloud "is more about path alignment and leverage than just a move," he said. "Office 365 core is one target."
Cloud services offer a number of benefits, according to N'Gai Oliveras Arroyo, IT director of the Office of the Comptroller of Puerto Rico. "As we face new challenges in the industry with the new technology, continue to have tight budgets and the urgent need to provide better services to our users, the cloud services give us the flexibility, availability and business continuity that our office needs," Arroyo said.
Those that said they do not have plans to shift more systems to the cloud this year had varied reasons as to why.
"We have moved all our unstructured data, and a good majority of workloads to the cloud already," said Simon Johns, IT director of Sheppard Robson Architects LLC. "The remainder give me no economic or strategic advantage to move to the cloud yet, because of my current hardware depreciation cycle."
Jeff Kopp, technology coordinator of Christ the King Catholic School, said that his school does not have plans to move additional systems to the cloud due to the area's broadband problems. "The Internet is not the most reliable in our area," Kopp said. "Losing access to our critical systems is unacceptable over slight cost savings."
This month's CIO Jury included:
Michael Hayes, founder and CIO, Darby Hayes Consulting LLC
Mike S. Ferris, global IT director of infrastructure, Lincoln Electric
Shane Milam, executive director of technology infrastructure services, Mercer University
Simon Johns, IT director, Sheppard Robson Architects LLC
Jerry Justice, CIO, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Cory Wilburn, CIO, Texas General Land Office
Dan Gallivan, director of information technology, Payette
N'Gai Oliveras Arroyo, IT director, Office of the Comptroller of Puerto Rico
Jeff Kopp, technology coordinator, Christ the King Catholic School
Inder Davalur, group CIO, KIMS Hospitals Private Limited
Corey Peissig, vice president of technical operations, Optimal Blue
David Wilson, director of IT services, VectorCSP
Want to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury and have your say on the top issues for IT decision makers? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director, or equivalent at a large or small company, working in the private sector or in government, and you want to join TechRepublic's CIO Jury pool, click the Contact link below or email alison dot rayome at cbsinteractive dot com, and send your name, title, company, location, and email address.
- Special report: The art of the hybrid cloud (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
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- Digital transformation will lead 60% of enterprises to move IT off-premises by 2019 (TechRepublic)