A majority of the 400 organizations worldwide surveyed by Enterprise Management Associates reported experiencing challenges and failures with cloud services.

The study, “Casualties of Cloud Wars: Customers Are Paying the Price,” notes that IT is moving forward with cloud initiatives because without them, keeping pace with the innovation needed to remain competitive in most industries is nearly impossible.

Survey respondents use an average of three cloud vendors, indicating an ongoing effort to find the “right” cloud solution, risk mitigation policies that require the diversification of providers, department-level fragmentation, and no pressing need to standardize on a single vendor, according to the report, which was commissioned by cloud provider iLand.

In addition to benefits such as cost savings and rapid scalability, 49 percent of respondents view disaster recovery as a key advantage of hosting workloads in the public cloud.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents experienced at least one unexpected challenge. At the top of the list were pricing challenges stemming from complex pricing models and hidden fees that can rapidly counteract the cost-savings benefit of the cloud. Performance issues, which can be experienced with some cloud platforms, were also a concern, the study says.

“Stories about successful cloud implementations are captivating, but the reality is that cloud is more complex than many news headlines make it out to be,” Dennis Drogseth, vice president of EMA, said in a statement. “Companies must be self-aware. Unless they have an experienced staff that can manipulate the mass-market systems of the big providers, they should seek cloud vendors that take a different, personalized approach.”

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