Advanced on-premises applications cause skills challenges for enterprises

By Jonathan Dyble
A new report from Skytap and 451 Research has revealed that 74% of technology leaders within companies are running over half their applications on-premi...

A new report from Skytap and 451 Research has revealed that 74% of technology leaders within companies are running over half their applications on-premises, resulting in internal skills challenges.

The study looked to reveal the issues between cloud strategies and datacenter realities, with more than 450 C-level and Director-level technology leaders surveyed across the UK, US and Canada.

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The results revealed that although 67% of respondents are looking to migrate and/ or modernise their on-premises applications within the coming two years, at least half also report a lack of on-site skills that are necessary in managing these applications and delivering new features.

Although enterprises are recognising the value of running their workloads on advanced IT infrastructure such as the cloud, the cons of doing so often outweigh the pros, with a significant number of companies adding complications and recruitment challenges in the process.

“Enterprises are motivated to leverage cloud to modernise, and clearly understand the benefits,” said Jay Lyman, Senior Analyst, 451 Research. “However, the sheer mass and complexity of on-premises application portfolios, combined with a propensity to choose the most arduous path to cloud, is creating a painful skills challenge that may require a more patient, progressive approach to find relief.”

Internal resistance to change is also holding digital transformation back, with more than half of UK firms citing this as a top three factor preventing them from upgrading. Chris Griggs, VP and EMEA GM at Skytap outlines the problem below:

"Businesses are choosing the hardest route to cloud migration, which requires rewriting code and refactoring legacy applications. By choosing such an arduous path to the cloud, we’re seeing organisations overcomplicating the migration process, putting unnecessary pressure on internal teams, who consequently spend more time on complex busy work with little immediate reward. As a result, cloud migration is taking longer, and is more painful, than necessary, even failing altogether. The costs rise as teams get overworked and hours and tooling costs pile up. These issues, coupled with IT leaders struggling to galvanise enthusiasm for change, is aggravating the digital skills gap.

To digitally transform at scale, UK enterprises must embrace a more holistic modernisation strategy or face even greater risks from rapid technological change.

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