2nd Watch Poll: Public Cloud Management Isn't A Snap

Survey Evaluates Post-Public-Cloud Adoption Challenges

2nd Watch, a cloud computing consulting firm and Amazon Web Services Premier Consulting Partner, polled 500 IT directors and executives about the operational challenges they encounter trying to manage their public clouds.

The survey discovered that many organizations struggle with their existing tools and service providers after migrating applications to the cloud.

"There’s a perception that managing IT workloads in the cloud is a snap, but clearly that’s not the case," said Joel Rosenberger, executive vice president of managed services at 2nd Watch, Seattle.

"In speaking with our customers, we see that companies are now looking externally for help with integrating processes and tools to manage workloads in the cloud to ensure operational excellence,’ Rosenberger said.

Not A Walk In The Cloud

Even though cloud computing holds the promise of less work for IT departments, a large majority of respondents, nearly 70 percent, said they found managing public cloud workloads to be difficult.

Of the respondents in that group, more than 40 percent described the process as "extremely difficult" while the other nearly 60 percent said it was no more difficult than managing internal systems.

Cloud Management Tools Are Necessary

Many organizations rely on commercial third-party tools and services to help reduce complexity with their public cloud environments.

More than 60 percent of the companies polled said they use several commercial tools designed specifically for managing and orchestrating cloud-based workloads and resources.

Another 20 percent were evaluating such tools. A small number -- 3 percent of all the respondents -- were using strictly homegrown or open-source tools for that purpose.

Which Tools?

About half the respondents used tools provided by their IaaS vendors such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Compute Engine.

The next largest category of respondents were using tools they acquired from legacy software vendors such as CA, BMC and IBM.

What Are They Doing With Those Tools?

Forty-five percent of the respondents were primarily using those cloud management tools to monitor and improve end-user performance. Another 32 percent were using them to monitor and improve end-user security.

Are The Tools Integrated?

Almost half the respondents -- 46 percent -- told 2nd Watch that their companies' cloud management tools were integrated to provide a ’single-pane-of-glass’ view into cloud risk and usage.

Another 38 percent said that their tools were partially integrated for this purpose.

What Do The Tools Lack?

The capability that the most IT executives reported as missing from their public cloud workload management solutions was integration to other data sources, a problem cited by 41 percent of respondents who wanted a better integration solution.

The next capability the 500 respondents felt they lacked most was better reporting features and metrics, cited by 27 percent of respondents.

Cloud Tools Are Bringing ROI

Fifty-five percent of the IT directors said that they were gaining expected ROI from cloud management tools and services. Another one-third of the respondents said that they hadn't quite realized ROI as of yet, but felt they were on their way.

Managed Services Are Popular

Only 15 percent of the respondents were managing their public clouds internally. Most of the companies polled felt they needed outside expertise to handle that process.

Forty-five percent were already using outside service firms to help migrate and/or manage their public cloud workloads, and 39 percent were in the process of evaluating managed services providers.