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The Cloud is rolling over enterprise businesses. Among the enterprise IT leaders recently surveyed in research on cloud adoption, 73% believe that the biggest proportion of spending on cloud projects will happen within the next two years, and 50% suggest between one and two years. Only 16% expect to allocate most of their money between three and five years from now, with a further 9% claiming to have already hit the max of their cloud project spending.

On asking 500 senior IT and C-Suite decision makers across key markets in Europe and the Asia Pacific, 74% of them cited business sustainability as their top priority for cloud adoption. It was revealed that 67% of early adopters found it easier to migrate to the cloud than anticipated, with strong partner support aiding their cloud journeys.

The report details how IT leaders split their time evenly between the main elements of cloud strategy – planning, testing, migration and optimization – and offers that more focus on optimization could improve results substantially. Without a greater focus on optimizing cloud spending, security and performance, enterprises could miss out on transformative outcomes, the report notes.

Respondents who had overseen optimized cloud connectivity saw a range of benefits, including improved performance (41%), more network visibility (39%) and better security (45%), because they could augment products or solutions, an example being SASE (Secure Access Server Edge). SASE is also one of the top features decision makers are considering or will include in future projects (66%), along with hybrid and multi-cloud orchestration (66%).

As per the research, enterprises are also achieving KPIs faster, with IT leaders believing that they’ve met almost half (49%) of their goals already and a further 11% having completed their cloud project KPIs.

The top three of the 11 barriers identified in the research were: 1) Budgets – some project costs can vary out of proportion for reasons including incorporating additional features such as flexible bandwidth, etc.; 2) Integration – integrating specific applications and systems can be a complicated component and scheduling more time to work on integration is vital for cloud migration; and 3) Technically complex solutions – depending on the sector and enterprise size, technical complexity can lead to higher costs and more time to accomplish and deliver the solutions.

In terms of lessons learned, flexible connectivity topped the list of features that IT leaders wished they’d included in previous migration projects (24%). This is because successful projects are often followed by more requests that fixed connectivity might not be able to handle. Planning for flexible connectivity – connectivity that can scale up with demand during projects and scale down when assessing, testing or optimizing – can mitigate this problem.

The report highlights that businesses plan to invest heavily in the cloud over the next two years and that some seeming challenges around cloud migration are largely unfounded. It also points out that partner support is key to delivering successful cloud deployments, in terms of both setup and optimization.

According to Gartner, worldwide cloud revenue will reach $474 billion in 2022 – an increase from just over $400 billion in 2021. In addition, the firm says 85% of organizations will be “cloud-first” by 2025.

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