Companies Handling Cloud Integration Internally, Despite Skill Gap

    Integration topped the list of complaints IT executives have about cloud implementations, according to a recent KPMG survey.

    This is at least the third year integration came out as a major issue for companies moving to the cloud — but this time, it’s not a theoretical concern.

    KPMG queried nearly 700 executives located around the world, half of whom are already involved with cloud initiatives.

    Of those who’ve tried the cloud, nearly a third say it’s harder and more expensive than they anticipated, with 33 percent of all executives complaining about the higher costs for three areas: implementation, transition and integration.

    For 31 percent, integrating cloud services with their on-premise applications and systems is turning out to be more complex than expected — a finding highlighted by this CIO article and KPGM’s press release.

    I think this is the first year that cloud integration and implementation issues actually outranked security and compliance issues. Security risk was cited by 26 percent and compliance/legal issues by 18 percent.

    But to my mind, rather than serving as a warning, this news actually raises questions.

    Are we to assume, then, that two-thirds did not see integration as an issue? And if that’s the case, why not? The piece does note that 70 percent of the respondents say “the cloud had already delivered significant efficiencies and cost savings.”

    What’s going on with that one-third when it comes to integration? Are they integrating more unusual legacy systems? Are they using SaaS solutions that aren’t well supported?

    Have they tried talking with any integration vendors about a solution — or are they hand coding on their own?

    It turns out, the report is available for free download and, lo, includes an even more revealing finding about integration: Most respondents said integration with existing architecture was one of the areas where their organizations demonstrated the least amount of skill. This means they rated interoperability as a 3.75 and integration a 3.67 on an ability scale of 1-5, with five being the highest — scores that ranked well below a list of other abilities.

    Yet, the majority also said they’re relying primarily on in-house for managing the implementation and integration.

    Dudes and dudettes, I don’t even know what to say about that.

    I hope to track down someone with KPMG for an interview on whether the survey offered any insight into my questions. In the meantime, the report’s online if you’d like to read it yourself.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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