Cloud AvailabilityThis is the first in a two-part interview series with Lynda Stadtmueller, vice president of cloud services for the analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

Thoughts on Cloud (ToC): A recent survey by Frost & Sullivan reported that 80 percent of US companies are planning to increase their use of cloud managed services. What factors are driving this increase?

Lynda Stadtmueller, vice president of cloud services, Frost & Sullivan: There are two main factors driving this increase. Cloud computing is more complex and the stakes are now higher than ever.

With cloud, businesses know they have a tremendous technology delivery model at their fingertips, but they don’t always know how to harness it. They might not have the expertise on staff. The self-service cloud might be more complex than they expected.

Additionally, the stakes for getting it right are high. As a result, they’re turning to specialists who can provide the management overlay to make sure that workloads are secure, efficient and cost controlled.

ToC: Does that 80 percent include companies that already use a managed cloud hosting solution and plan to increase those services?

IncreaseUseofCMS

Source: 2015 Frost & Sullivan cloud survey of US-based IT decision makers

LS: Yes. There are more types of cloud managed services available now than in the past. For example, a company using some sort of cloud infrastructure management may realise that they have non-cloud legacy applications that aren’t running as efficiently as they would prefer. The right provider can bring the benefits of cloud to legacy applications. In these cases, companies are adding that to their managed services agreements. They’re adding more workloads, more infrastructure and more applications to the cloud.

ToC: Is driving cloud value in legacy applications the single biggest reason for that type of increase?

LS: It’s a big one. Interestingly, in many companies these decisions are made separately. The person who manages the SAP workload may not be the same person who makes decisions about cloud infrastructure services.

And yet, as the company moves from point solutions to a holistic hybrid cloud strategy, that’s when those collaborative conversations are happening. At a higher level, the organisation may decide it can move its most challenging workloads into a cloud managed service model and recognise the those benefits across multiple lines of business.

Originally published: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2017/02/companies-increasing-cloud-managed-services/