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Challenges Faced when Migrating Applications to the Cloud

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A Cisco survey shows the current level and the trend in cloud migration along with the main challenges IT decision makers associate with such operations.

The 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey (PDF) contains the results of surveying over 1,300 IT decision makers from 13 countries with the purpose of understanding some of the challenges associated with migrating business applications to private or public cloud platforms.

When asked what application they would choose to move to the cloud if they had only one choice the respondents answered: Storage (25%), ERP (20%), Email (16%), and Collaboration (15%). But when it came to a reality check regarding the applications already in the cloud or to be moved over the following year, 77% said Email, 74% – Storage, and 72% – Collaboration, IM and web conferencing. Also, IT managers with cloud migrations going on said they decided not to move certain applications, although they would like to: Email – 60%, Storage – 59%, Virtual Desktops – 55%.

When it came to challenges to a successful cloud migration, the respondents cited: Application Availability/Reliability – 67%, Device-based Security – 66%, and Cloud Application Performance – 60%.

According to Cisco’s survey, only 5% of organizations have migrated at least half of their applications to the cloud, but that number is set to increase to 20% by the end of the year.

Most IT professionals expected a cloud deployment to take less than 6 months, with a migration to a private cloud needing more time than to a public one.

When it came to the most important infrastructure factors in a cloud migration, 37% cited a cloud-ready network, 28% mentioned a virtualized data center, while 21% said they were most interested in a proper SLA from the cloud service provider.

Regarding the question “Why Move to the Cloud?”, 52% of the IT respondents said the decision was imposed on them by the business or CIO to improve costs, productivity and agility, while 41% said they were following the trend set by the industry, and 30% doing so because it was required by their customers.

A large number of respondents (39%) said they would rather “get a root canal, dig a ditch, do their own taxes” than deal with the challenges of a cloud migration. Also, 27% said that have more knowledge “how to play Angry Birds—or know how to change a spare tire” than how to migrate a company’s network or applications to the cloud. And 24% do not see any chance in migrating to the cloud in the following 6 months.

A Cisco infographic comprises the key results of the survey in a more concise and visually pleasant way.

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