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Why enterprises aren’t getting the full value they expect from cloud services

Aternity July 22, 2015


A recent opinion piece in Forbes discusses a new report from HfS Research, which found that large enterprises are struggling to realize value from as-a-service platforms. Managers are implementing insufficient, temporary fixes by partnering with vendors that aren’t up to the task and can’t offer adequate optimization, analytics, or automation.

Researchers found that 71% of large enterprises surveyed saw leveraging as-a-service offerings for core enterprise processes as something of a distant dream: they don’t expect it to become a reality for five years or more. Negative perceptions of vendors have left decision-makers hesitant to adopt as-a-service platforms, as nearly half of the surveyed respondents feel their service providers are unwilling to cannibalize their existing revenue models.

Another reason for slow adoption may be a lack of consensus within organizations about the benefits and value as-a-service offerings can provide. When asked how important adoption was, 53% of operations leaders saw it as business-critical, while only 29% of middle managers agreed when asked the same question. With these concerns in mind, it’s no wonder that enterprises are being extremely methodical when it comes to cloud migration.

According to the Forbes piece, IT managers should be ‘…encouraged to pursue real innovation through technology-based innovation — versus plodding along and attempting to just keep things running efficiently.’ At Riverbed, we couldn’t agree more.

We often encounter organizations in the midst of a serious IT upgrade, looking to replace legacy infrastructure with cloud-oriented solutions that will provide them with greater business velocity. But while these organizations know what they need in an ideal world, they aren’t sure if there’s a vendor that can really meet all their needs all at once. Take the following story as an example.

In 2013, Branko Ceran, then-new CIO of MTC Australia, a non-profit organization offering employment services and youth programs, was looking at a total overhaul of the organization’s aging infrastructure. Ceran wanted to adopt a ‘cloud-first’ strategy to deliver a better user experience for their 530 staff members spread across 30 locations. But before he could take decisive action, he needed a complete solution to ensure the new cloud applications would exceed performance expectations and deliver the intended ROI. That’s when Riverbed stepped in.

Working with Riverbed, Ceran was able to deploy a solution consisting of SteelHead™ SaaS and SteelHead EX appliances to ensure that the users’ experience of the new infrastructure was ‘not good, but fantastic.’ Riverbed accelerated application delivery by 300%, resulting in sub-second response times for Office 365, which is located in a Microsoft data center 4,000 miles away. SteelHead reduced migration time to the cloud by 50%, while the overall solution reduced bandwidth upgrade costs by two-thirds.

In addition to the successes we’ve seen with SteelHead, we’ve been able to give our clients unmatched visibility and diagnostics to improve performance for applications running in the cloud with AppInternals 10, which just became Microsoft Azure Certified earlier this month.

So when we hear stories about enterprises struggling to generate business value from as-a-service platforms and other cloud solutions, we know what they need: the Riverbed Application Performance Platform™, which offers CIOs the visibility, optimization, and control they need to provide their businesses a competitive advantage through the cloud.

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