Logicworks, an AWS partner and cloud automation company, has just released a report that gathered the opinions of tech professionals on the expansion of the cloud in the next five years. The report focused on what roadblocks IT decision makers see between them and successful use of cloud technology.

The results won’t surprise anyone who has used cloud technology in enterprise environments: half of those surveyed report that security is their biggest concern, followed closely by costs.

SEE: How to develop a cloud-first architecture and strategy (TechRepublic)

Logicworks addressed more than just general reservations, however, and the report’s results shine light on what companies need to do to plan for the future of enterprise-level cloud computing.

What the report found

400 IT leaders were surveyed in Logicworks’ report, and it found one thing that’s absolutely certain: businesses are going to expand their use of cloud technology in the next five years. 96 percent of respondents report they plan to expand, and 95 percent say they feel their company is prepared.

That 95 percent figure is surprising, especially considering other responses. 80 percent of those surveyed say their company’s leadership underestimates the time and cost of maintaining cloud resources. over 40 percent say their staff isn’t properly trained in maintaining cloud-based systems, and more than half say it’s hard to find a good DevOps engineer.

SEE: How to handle security risks in Red Hat virtualization environments (TechRepublic)

There’s also serious concern over cloud security, with 51 percent citing it as a reason they haven’t expanded cloud use. Vendor lock-in is also cited as prohibiting more migration to the cloud, and when coupled with security it’s easy to see why: if a vendor is breached it can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming to move resources elsewhere.

Downtime concerns are warranted too: the report found that it takes an average of 7 hours for complete return to normal operations–that’s a whole day of lost productivity in the event of a service outage.

Logicworks’ conclusions

The data, according to Logicworks, points to one serious need: more emphasis on maintenance of cloud resources. Far from eliminating maintenance needs, moving essential services to the cloud opens up a whole new batch of potential failures and bugs to squash.

With over a third of IT decision makers feeling their teams aren’t properly trained in cloud tech, the report also concludes that more training is needed. DevOps engineers and IT professionals trained in cloud technology are hard to find–it’s still an emerging field, and it’s one that enterprises are all too willing to jump into without preparation.

If your organization is planning to expand into the cloud these concerns might seem familiar, and so might the inevitability of making tough decisions about virtualization. Don’t get caught unprepared–now is the time to find the right people, make detailed plans, and get ready for the future of enterprise computing: it’s going to be in the cloud whether you like it or not.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Nearly 100 percent of IT decision makers say their company is planning to expand its use of the cloud, but many are concerned about the IT department’s long-term preparedness.
  2. Security is the biggest concern, followed by cost and a lack of expertise among IT staff. Do your research when planning a migration and be sure to give your staff time to learn the tech.
  3. The cloud presents different kinds of concerns for IT staff. Have clear plans and contingencies in place to prevent your DevOps team from having to spend all their time troubleshooting instead of working on purposeful projects.

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