A large majority of organizations employ more than one cloud automation solution, and this practice creates significant challenges that are resulting in delays and added costs for businesses, according to Why companies lose efficiency and compliance with cloud automation solutions from Broadcom. Not surprisingly, the research also found the majority of companies have consolidation efforts underway, a trend that has nurtured an important emerging role in the IT organization, that of Cloud Architect.
"The modern IT organization is highly complex with multiple cloud platforms, environments, and cloud automation solutions.These 'islands of automation' have become a big challenge," said Aline Gerew, Head of Automation Agile Operations Division, Broadcom. "These survey findings demonstrate a growing need to abstract the complexity from hybrid cloud automation processes and provide a single view of all automation processes."
Chaos in the Cloud
As businesses' reliance on cloud has increased, so has the need for various cloud automation tools to help manage cloud workloads. And with many companies utilizing several cloud platforms, it's not surprising they also use multiple automation tools. In fact, 81% of companies use more than one cloud automation solution, many of which are cloud native. These tools are also deployed in numerous environments — public clouds, on-premises, and SaaS based solutions, which makes coordinated automation a challenge.
70% of those surveyed reported that using multiple cloud automation tools has created significant challenges. Among the biggest issues are:
■ increasing the time to automate (59%)
■ time to report (52%)
■ time to remediate automation problems (52%)
Nearly half of respondents indicated compliance is more difficult. Using multiple automation solutions also adds costs, makes trouble shooting more difficult, and delays delivery.
Consolidation Is Complex
Given the many challenges of using multiple cloud automation solutions, it is not surprising that 78% of respondents' companies have consolidation plans underway. However, the process is not simple and requires careful planning to ensure the remaining cloud automation tools can support multiple different environments.
Additionally, companies continue to utilize various approaches when moving existing application functionality to the cloud including:
■ SaaS (57%)
■ lift and shift (56%)
■ cloud native replacements (46%)
■ refactoring (41%).
These diverse platform and functionality needs drive a long list of requirements for cloud automation tool selection with 62% citing operational costs as the most important factor followed by performance (53%), and operational efficiency (49%). Other criteria include supported environments, ease of use, and advanced features such as dashboards, analytics, and SLAs.
Rise of the Cloud Architect
An interesting outcome of the trend toward consolidation is the growing role of the Cloud Architect. This role is tasked with addressing the challenges of too many cloud automation tools and leading the work to find a single solution that meets the diverse platform and functional needs of the organization. The survey found 67% of companies currently have a cloud architect on staff with another 33% planning to hire one. The Cloud Architect has broad reach, influencing numerous automation projects across various teams within the organization including IT, development, and security.
Methodology: IT, cloud and deployment professionals at companies of all sizes representing all seniority levels were invited to participate in a survey on their company's cloud automation practices. The survey was administered electronically by a third party, and participants were offered a token compensation for their participation. A total of 535 qualified participants from five continents completed the global survey.
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