CIO Survey Reveals ITSM Maturity in the Cloud Improves by 33%, but Still a Long Way to Go!

 IT departments inviting service ‘blame game’ while significant financial waste increases from lack of cloud procurement oversight

London, 24 July 2016: Despite a gradual improvement in applying mature management processes to cloud computing over the past year, 85% of CIOs in the UK and US believe that cloud is reducing their organisations’ control over IT, according to an independent survey of CIOs commissioned by Fruition Partners. The survey found that while in-house IT services are, on average, managed by a combination of six established ITSM processes, cloud-based services are only, on average, subject to four. This 33% reduction in the maturity of IT service management (ITSM) is an improvement over 2015, when cloud-based services were only subject to three processes. Yet, it shows there remains a clear gap between the level of control IT has over in-house services and the amount it can exert on those provided in the cloud. In fact, 80% of CIOs do not apply the same comprehensive ITSM processes as they do for in-house IT services.

“The maturity of cloud services has started to improve, but it is still leagues away from where it needs to be. There has to be a recognition that the need for rigorous management is greater, not less, in the cloud,” said Paul Cash, Managing Partner, Fruition Partners UK. “Quite simply, CIOs cannot blindly trust that public cloud services will work flawlessly and be delivered perfectly at all times. The more responsibility CIOs hand over to providers, without ensuring that established ITSM principles are applied, the more they open themselves up to blame if one of those services fails. CIOs should still be managing cloud services internally, rather than abdicating responsibility to the provider. Otherwise they risk losing control, and increasing both cost and risk to themselves and the business.”

Indeed, 73% of CIOs surveyed stated that cloud sprawl due to procurement without IT’s insight is resulting in significant financial waste. Yet at the same time, organisations are passing more responsibility for cloud applications on to their cloud providers than in 2015, leaving themselves increasingly open to blame if something goes wrong. Further, 56% of organisations do not manage cloud application support themselves, compared to 1 in 2 in 2015. In the event of user problems with cloud services, this means users will go directly to the cloud provider’s service team, who may very well place the blame on the customer’s IT environment; leading to a cycle of blame games rather than simply solving the issue. Since IT departments already have the skills and knowledge to pinpoint the root causes of user issues, by keeping control of support they can reduce the risk of issues and ensure the blame game never starts.

Similarly, 73% of CIOs are delegating change management to cloud vendors; handing over control in this manner increases the risk of cloud problems and wastes existing change management skills in the organisation. Overall, a majority of businesses are failing to make the most out of previous investments in ITSM. Over half (60%) did not use using their existing ITSM tools to orchestrate cloud services and platforms. US organisations showed a clear advantage here, with only 53% not using their existing ITSM tools, compared to 67% in the UK. There is clear recognition of the problems this creates; 79% of CIOs stated that managing IT is becoming even harder because of cloud computing, and 80% believe the unsanctioned use of cloud computing has created long term security risks for the business.

“Organisations have the tools at hand to ensure IT services are delivered consistently, comprehensively, and without risk. By failing to apply these tools to the cloud, they are doing themselves a major disservice,” continued Paul Cash. “The longer business spend without unifying their approach to both cloud and in-house IT, the harder managing IT will become. Dealing with this is relatively easy in the short term; simply ensuring that ITSM processes are unified across in-house and cloud services will reduce a great number of the challenges and risks associated with cloud.”

The research also showed the issue of ‘Shadow IT’ is still a concern for organisations. 66% of CIOs said there was an increasing culture of ‘Shadow IT’ in their organisation, while 68% said that the business frequently does not seek their advice when it comes to the procurement of public cloud services. Cloud sprawl is the inevitable result of this lack of management, with 62% of CIOs believing there are cloud applications in use that IT doesn’t know about. Here again, using ITSM best practice can address the ‘Shadow IT’ issue. Taking relatively simple steps, such as implementing a service catalogue that lists sanctioned public cloud services, can reduce the impact of Shadow IT and so cut down on risk and financial waste.

The research was undertaken by independent market researchers, Vanson Bourne; the total sample size was 400 UK and USA CIOs from large enterprises with over 1000 employees.

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