Security, complexity woes keep many firms from realizing full cloud benefits

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Many large enterprises are not realizing the full benefits of their cloud migration efforts, with security and the complexity of business and operational change among the barriers, according to a new report from IT services and consulting firm Accenture.

The firm surveyed 200 senior IT professionals from large businesses worldwide earlier this year, and found that two-thirds are not seeing the maximum benefits of cloud migrations. The study suggests that cloud migrations are more complex than many enterprises anticipated.

The vast majority of companies said they are achieving some level of their desired cloud outcomes, with overall satisfaction levels exceeding 90 percent on average. But only about one third of companies, on average, said they have fully achieved their expected outcomes across the categories of cost (34 percent), speed (36 percent), business enablement (35 percent) and service levels (34 percent).

Security and compliance risk is the most common barrier to realizing the benefits of cloud, cited by 65 percent of respondents. It was followed by the complexity of business and organizational change (55 percent), legacy infrastructure and/or application sprawl (43 percent) and a lack of cloud skills within the organization (42 percent).

As with most new technologies, experiencing the intended benefits of the cloud takes time, said Kishore Durg, senior managing director of Accenture Cloud for Technology Services.

There’s a learning curve influenced by a number of variables and barriers, Durg said. Companies need to approach cloud migrations strategically and demonstrate measurable business value, he said. IT departments need to showcase direct business outcomes from the cloud, Durg said, or they risk becoming less.

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