New research finds enterprises are own worst enemy in cloud adoption and people are greatest barrier to success

Lucas Welch

Skytap market study conducted by 451 Research shows that despite appetite to modernize, large majority of enterprise applications remain trapped on-premises, creating unexpected skills challenges aggravated by confusion about best path to cloud

SEATTLE – June 6, 2018Skytap, Inc., a global cloud provider, today announced the results of a commissioned study on the state of enterprise IT modernization and the conflict between cloud strategies and datacenter realities. Conducted by 451 Research, “Realities of enterprise modernization: Urgency mounts for a clear path to cloud” surveyed 450 C-level and VP/Director-level technology leaders in the U.S., UK and Canada. The report finds that though enterprises have a clear appetite to move to the cloud, businesses are creating additional technical complexity and recruitment challenges in the process.

Key findings include:

  • The enterprise runs in the datacenter:
    • More than 80 percent of technology leaders report managing more than 100 applications, with 74 percent stating at least half of these applications are on-premises. Another 71 percent of respondents see many of their on-premises applications as mission-critical to their business.
  • Urgency to use cloud for application modernization is reaching a tipping point:
    • 67 percent of respondents plan to migrate or modernize at least half their on-premises applications in the next 12-24 months. As a result of this process, nearly two-thirds of respondents expect better customer responsiveness and to be more competitive.
    • However, at least half of the respondents cite common, core business applications including CRM, ERP, and Data Analytics as least-suited for hyper-scale clouds, and report both a lack of skills to manage these applications and an inability to deliver new features as current challenges in their operations.
  • And yet enterprises are choosing the path of most resistance, unintentionally creating a self-induced cloud skills gap:
    • The two top-ranked strategies that respondents report taking when they migrate traditional applications to the cloud are the strategies that require the highest degree of IT skills — 49 percent cited refactoring or rewriting applications as their primary modernization strategy. Embarking on the most arduous path to cloud may be one reason why 55 percent of respondents cited people capable of migrating existing applications to the cloud as their most critical recruiting need.

Cloud computing is now in its second decade. The dominant market narrative remains centered on the well-understood benefits of agility and scale, often ignoring the challenges and complexity underneath the surface, to the detriment of organizations attempting to modernize in the real world. Skytap and 451’s new study found that the reality of enterprise IT modernization is a myriad of difficult choices exacerbated by both urgent skills needs and the significant challenges created by mission-critical applications left in the datacenter. The research found technology leaders varied widely in cloud and application deployment models and that while the majority want to migrate most of their existing applications to the cloud in two years or less, they are in desperate need of the skills to do so.

“Enterprises are motivated by the clear benefits to leverage cloud services to modernize their IT environment,” said Jay Lyman, Principal Analyst, 451 Research. “However, the sheer mass and complexity of on-premises application portfolios, combined with the propensity for some to choose the most arduous path to cloud by re-writing and re-architecting, creates a painful skills challenge that requires a more patient, progressive approach to achieve success.”

These new findings underscore the reality that enterprises need a clearer, more iterative path toward modernization, and illuminate the cloud technology, people, and process challenges to digital business success.

“Cloud is often over-hyped and simplified, while modernization and digital transformation can be even more vague,” said Brad Schick, CTO, Skytap. “Our study cuts through rhetoric to show that while most tech leaders correctly see cloud as an agility play, hyper-scale clouds aren’t delivering for traditional applications. We want to help drive conversation that gives enterprises clear choices to manage change, easily identify the right cloud venue for existing applications, and iteratively modernize without burning everything down.”

Learn More

“Realities of enterprise modernization: Urgency mounts for a clear path to cloud” provides a fresh perspective on the challenges, motivations, and opportunities driving today’s enterprise technology strategy. The study features a wide range of interesting data points that contradict common cloud generalizations, alongside sharp analysis and end user commentary.

Visit the study’s microsite for a brief, interactive experience and to download the report.

To learn more about Skytap Cloud and its ability to deliver safe, iterative, cloud-driven modernization for enterprises’ most valuable applications, take a guided product tour.

About Skytap

Skytap is a global cloud provider that accelerates enterprise innovation by modernizing traditional applications with cloud-native development and services. Skytap Cloud makes it easy to build, run, and evolve these hybrid applications by rapidly migrating traditional workloads to the cloud, enabling modern development practices, and integrating new cloud architectures. We power multi- and hybrid-cloud strategies through secure connections to other clouds and on-premises datacenters. Our environments technology accelerates application development, simplifies management, and reduces IT costs, enabling hundreds of customers worldwide to modernize at the pace of their business. www.skytap.com