Fugue, Inc., has today released the results of its 2017 State of Cloud Infrastructure Operations Survey. The survey, fielded to over 300 IT operations professionals, executives, and developers, found that most respondents believe that the cloud is not living up to expectations because of compliance and security concerns, unexpected downstream costs, and the glut of cloud management tools available in the market today. 

Security, compliance, and cost control are top cloud challenges businesses and agencies face
Only 1 in 5 surveyed felt they are getting “the most” out of the cloud, while 80 percent feel they are failing to do so. Thirty-nine percent said security/compliance is slowing them down, 36 percent said CXOs fail to understand the complexity of the cloud, 26 percent said IT leadership doesn’t understand the complexity of the cloud, and 20 percent said developers don’t understand the complexity of the cloud. Another 22 percent pointed to a lack of cohesion between the cloud and data center teams.

When asked about what challenges they are working to overcome in their cloud organizations this year, IT professionals pointed first to controlling costs (48 percent), then to ensuring infrastructure security and compliance (44 percent), managing increasing cloud complexity (42 percent), and meeting business agility demands (36 percent).

Stitched-together cloud tooling yields complexity
Meanwhile, survey respondents indicated that their businesses are employing an unwieldy number of disparate tools in order to get the cloud to deliver on their business expectations: 38 percent are using 3-5 tools; 31 percent are using 6-10; 16 percent are using 11-15; and 7 percent are using more than 15. 

As a result, 69 percent say they are spending as much or more on stitched-together cloud tooling and services as they spend on the cloud itself, and 42 percent say the cloud is not saving them money over the data center.

“The promises of the cloud are tremendous, but they are hard-won,” said Josh Stella, CEO and Co-founder at Fugue. “You hear you’ll get rid of data centers, save money, and move faster; cloud’s essentially an infinite resource. But what happens is that IT departments lose control of it—they can’t keep track of everything that’s running, and there are security and compliance complications. If you’re Netflix, you have enough money to throw at the problem, but most companies trying to manage the cloud end up in a DIY headache of patch-ups and tools that were born in the data center and adapted for use in the cloud. Fugue addresses all of these pain points because it was born in the cloud and designed for the cloud. It’s the fix for sprawl, uncertainty, and time lost on regulatory demands and corporate policy regimes. ”

While many companies have resorted to building in-house tooling, 83 percent of respondents said this creates problems of its own. Prime among them:

  • In-house tooling requires specialists and time to maintain them – 50 percent
  • Adopting newly available cloud services is made difficult – 41 percent
  • In-house tooling involves a lot of egos and politics – 31 percent
  • Adopting new architectures is made difficult – 21 percent

Cloud needs a ‘makeover’
IT professionals are almost unanimous (96 percent) in their agreement that the cloud could use a “makeover.” When asked why, 85 percent pointed to usability struggles:

  • Needs to be simplified and easier to use – 33 percent
  • Needs to be easier to keep secure – 29 percent
  • Needs to be easier to control costs – 13 percent
  • Needs to be easier to control – 10 percent

Another 7 percent complained about the overall expense, and 5 percent complained about reliability.

Fully 87 percent of IT professionals say they have experienced a cloud downtime event, in response to which their companies have added multi-cloud capabilities (47 percent), created more resilient application architectures (41 percent), and added multi-region capabilities (38 percent). 

Another 24 percent prefer to simply pass the blame, and 19 percent have resorted to “prayer.”