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  • 80 percent of respondents expected cost savings from the cloud
  • 59 percent conducted a formal analysis of potential return on investment (ROI) before starting cloud migration
  • 82 percent of those who did an ROI analysis achieved expected savings
  • 57 percent of those who skipped an ROI analysis met savings objectives

Organisations that conducted a thorough return on investment (ROI) analysis before embarking on their cloud migrations were 44 percent more successful in realising their cost-savings expectations than those that did not, according to a new Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) global survey.

Eighty (80) percent of respondents to the survey – conducted among 400 IT and business executives across eight countries – say that they had expected cost savings from adopting the cloud as a channel for accessing IT and business resources. Fifty-nine (59) percent of the respondents say that they conducted a formal ROI analysis before embarking on their cloud migrations.

Eighty-two (82) percent of the respondents whose organisations conducted formal ROI analyses up front say that they realised the cost savings they expected. In contrast, 57 percent of those migrating without benefit of an ROI analysis say that they realised their cost savings expectations – a difference of 44 percent between the two groups.

The survey also demonstrates that engaging an expert third party to assist in cloud transformation boosts the likelihood of achieving desired objectives. Sixty-eight (68) percent of the respondents say that they contracted with a third party for cloud migration or management. Seventy-two (72) percent of those used the partner for cloud strategy and planning, and 79 percent of that group say that partnering with an outside expert enabled their organisation to achieve expected cost savings.

“Our research clearly shows that in cloud transformation, the old adage is true: ‘Failing to plan is like planning to fail,’” said Paul Gleeson, vice president, Cloud and Infrastructure Services, Unisys. “Migration offers a plethora of cloud options – private, public, hybrid, community and other combinations. However, those choices can create unforeseen complexities that can easily derail expectations. Those organisations that plan their cloud migration carefully, drawing on the expertise of established partners where it makes the most strategic sense, are the ones best positioned to realise operational, financial and competitive success from cloud transformation.”

Workload Hosting Changes, Agreement on Benefits, Persistent Security Concerns

The respondents indicate that their organisations are rapidly migrating from traditional on-premises data centers to various types of clouds, and project how they expect the computing workload on each type of resource to evolve over the next two years. They indicate that use of traditional on-premises data centers will decrease from 43 percent now to 29 percent in 2019, while private cloud use will increase from 20 percent now up to 28 percent in two years. Over the same period, public cloud use will rise from 18 percent to 21 percent, hybrid cloud from 11 percent to 13 percent, and use of community cloud (a private cloud shared by multiple organisations with a common mission) will hold steady at 9 percent.

The respondents show widespread agreement on the benefits enterprises expect from the cloud. At least 94 percent cite improved disaster recovery/business continuity, agility and flexibility, more efficient storage, reduced capital costs and standardisation of IT as being at least somewhat important. Improving agility – the capability to deploy IT resources nimbly in response to quickly changing business conditions and the factor most closely aligned to gaining competitive advantage – is the top driver overall, with 78 percent of respondents saying it is critical or very important.

While the respondents clearly appreciate the tangible benefits of the cloud, they are also forthright in acknowledging its challenges. Many report encountering unexpected roadblocks, with 60 percent saying those impediments slowed their cloud migrations and 17 saying that the roadblocks brought their migrations to a standstill.

Forty-two (42) percent of respondents name concerns about security (ranging from identity and access management to micro-segmentation of data) and compliance as both the most common causes and potential results of slowdowns in cloud migration. Perhaps not coincidentally, 42 percent of respondents to a 2016 Unisys survey cited security as their biggest challenge in cloud management.

Unisys Migration Services Make the Difference

Based on extensive experience in designing cloud transformations and managing some of the world’s largest IT infrastructures, the proven Unisys Fast Track Assessment process helps clients start and accelerate migration projects. In a four- to six-week engagement, a team of expert Unisys consultants executes a four-phase process, including discovery of IT and business issues the cloud can best address; gap analysis of the current environment; development of strategy, business case, ROI analysis and architectural plan for the migration; and execution plan with road map and timeline aligned to business needs.

A recent Unisys ROI assessment accurately showed that a client could save 20 percent in IT costs by moving operations from a private cloud to a public one secured by the award-winning Unisys Stealth® suite of security software. By leveraging existing in-house resources and pools of expertise along with Unisys experience and security expertise, clients can control implementation costs and emerge with the secure cloud environment they need to move their business forward.

Click here for a microsite with more detail on the survey results – including a downloadable report and infographic – and here for more information on Unisys cloud and infrastructure transformation services.