New research from Reconnix suggests lack of skilled IT workers holding back migration to IaaS services

NEWARK, UK – 11th November 2014 — / — Over four-fifths (82 per cent) of current UK IT leaders do not believe they are yet fully ready to move from traditional server and hosting environments to IaaS providers due to a shortage of in-house skills according to new research commissioned by Reconnix, the open source IT specialists. When asked if they were ready to migrate to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), only 10 per cent of the 100 IT decision makers surveyed believed they were, while only a further 8 per cent had already migrated or were in the process of migration.

Despite the relatively low rates of migration to IaaS, 88 per cent of IT decision makers stated that moving applications from traditional server environments to the cloud was of top, high or medium priority, with only one-in-twenty stating it was not a priority at all. Only 7 per cent of respondents were confident that they could call on all the required skills to manage applications running in IaaS environments from an in-house team. While over one-third (36 per cent) believed they had most skills in house, a combined 59 per cent had only some of the required skills, no skills or did not know.

These findings were reflected in planned IaaS buying and management behaviour, with only 26 per cent planning to buy directly from the vendor. Nearly two-thirds admitted they would need some form of third party support, with 38 per cent engaging a third-party consultancy for total management, and 25 per cent planning a mixed model of in-house skills and consultancy services.

“There’s a very clear desire for businesses to move applications away from traditional environments and towards Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers, however a lack of adequate skills seem to be holding back many IT departments from making this move,” says Steve Nice, CTO, Reconnix. “It’s natural for businesses to err on the side of caution, but this conservative approach can mean that many are missing out on the transformative benefits of the cloud.

“It’s clearly a confidence issue, and the challenge is for IT departments to take the necessary steps to prepare themselves for inevitable change. By failing to take action now, they risk putting themselves at a technological disadvantage to competitors or being caught blindsided and forced to rush through a migration that could end up costing over the odds.”

Microsoft Azure was acknowledged as the most trusted IaaS provider, with 36 per cent of respondents choosing it ahead of rivals IBM’s Smart Cloud (22 per cent), Amazon Web Services (14 per cent) and Rackspace (14 per cent). Only 5 per cent of IT buyers placed trust in Google’s Compute Engine ahead of the competition.

“The prominence of Azure and IBM in IT buyers minds is surprising, especially considering how far ahead AWS is, both technically and in terms of market share,” explains Nice. “IT departments not used to buying cloud services can sometimes not be aware of the difference in levels of performance between IaaS providers and it can be tempting to choose a trusted name. This trust, however, could be based on a decades old relationship and not on the performance of current product offerings.”

Cost was identified as the most important factor when making a decision on moving to the cloud. Respondents cited potential cost savings as the single biggest motivator (32 per cent) but also as the biggest barrier to migration (30 per cent). The other main motivators were Flexibility (30 per cent) and increased compute power (18 per cent). After cost, complexity (28 per cent) was seen as the largest impediment to migration.

“Basing purchasing decisions predominantly on cost is a risky strategy, and could easily result in poor levels of service or reliability problems,” adds Nice. “Often a cloud provider is only as good as the service level agreement (SLA) in place and by cutting costs, poor support and periods of downtime are more likely. Any business that can lose money directly as a result of downtime, such as retail, should ensure SLAs provide adequate cover in case of disaster.”

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Notes to editors
Reconnix is a UK technology services company specialising in the provision of Applications Development, Infrastructure Management, Operations Management and Technical Professional Services, utilising Open Source tools and technologies to provide best of breed solutions for our clients.

Reconnix works with hundreds of leading UK businesses to increase operational efficiency and commercial competitive advantage as well as improving service levels for the benefit of client stakeholders. Reconnix takes a practical approach to developing and delivering client IT solutions in line with ISO20001, ISO27001 and BS9001 standards that ensure quality service delivery to stringent targets.

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Source: Reconnix