Why Can’t IT Administrators and Decision Makers Agree on Cloud?

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Here’s a test. Would you be comfortable giving a definition of ‘the cloud’ to a stranger? If you have any doubts, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Some people consider Dropbox to be a cloud. Others think that virtualized data centers are private clouds. And many people get mixed up about the differences between cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS).

But if you think this confusion is limited to the public realm, you’re wrong. In 2018, we carried out a worldwide survey of IT decision-makers and infrastructure professionals. 1 It revealed that each group had different working definitions for cloud.

A divergence of opinion

These differences became crystal clear when we asked our respondents to describe their infrastructure environments. 52% told us that they were running a private cloud, 37% said that they were running a hybrid cloud, and 11% told us that they were running a traditional on-premise infrastructure.

But when we broke the results down by role, there were major differences of opinion. Only 46% of IT decision makers thought that they had a private cloud, compared to 58% of infrastructure administrators. And when we analyzed the findings further, we discovered that 45% of IT decision makers thought that they operated a hybrid cloud, as opposed to 29% of infrastructure administrators.

We then looked more closely at the private cloud statistics. The term private cloud implies some very specific capabilities. But when we asked our respondents if they had those capabilities in place, only 23% to 31% said that they were close or there, leaving a significant gap between the claim and reality.

Intrigued by these findings, we wanted to explore whether each persona had an inflated view of their own environment. The results were broadly similar – 23-31% IT infrastructure respondents thought that their current environment had the characteristics of a private cloud compared to 18-21% of IT decision makers.

Cross department collaboration

So, what can we conclude from this? First, it’s apparent that both camps are poor at assessing their own capabilities. To address this issue, we recommend that decision makers and administrators get clued up about the characteristics of private cloud. We also suggest that both departments work together to improve the efficiency of their operations.

Secondly, it’s clear from the research that IT decision makers don’t know what their infrastructure can and can’t do. Again, we recommend that decision makers partner with IT administrators to forge a deeper understanding of their infrastructure. It’s vitally important that both parties understand what they have in place so they can make decisions based on accurate information.

Our research reveals that serious misperceptions about cloud remain. But by taking appropriate action, IT decision makers and infrastructure professionals can develop a better understanding of the technology and get more out of their investments.

Click here to read our report.

1 2018 State of the Enterprise Datacentre, ActualTech Media Research in partnership with Nutanix

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