Cloud metadata hides crucial business information

Enterprise cloud hosting provider iland, recently announced the findings of a new global survey conducted by Forrester Consulting. The study reveals negative financial, operational and strategic impacts due to crucial hidden metadata and deeply flawed customer support models.

The findings are published in a study entitled, “Is Your Cloud Provider Keeping Secrets?” Focusing on lessons from experienced cloud infrastructure customers, the survey included in-depth responses from 275 IT decision makers and top-level executives throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore.

Cloud metadata—information about the performance, configuration and operations of each cloud workload—is critical to optimising cloud costs, maintaining performance and demonstrating compliance. While this metadata is typically available to cloud providers, survey respondents reported broad gaps in their knowledge about their own workloads—from billing data to compliance and performance information.

As a result, 100 per cent of companies surveyed suffered a negative business impact, including outages, wasted resources, unexpected costs and challenges reporting to management. Further, more than 60 per cent report they cannot grow their cloud footprint due to associated transparency, compliance and support issues.

The survey findings highlight the relationships between cloud providers and users, and areas for improvement:

  • Overall, cloud customer satisfaction is low, with a strong sentiment that providers do not respond to their users’ needs. Over 50 percent of cloud customers report their provider does not understand their company’s needs or care about their success.
  • Lack of cloud metadata can drive up costs—and take down systems. One hundred percent of respondents said they suffered one or more negative impacts due to lack of transparency, ranging from performance problems or outages (43 percent) to unexpected bills (36 percent).
  • Without critical data, compliance safeguards may fail. Compliance practices act as a proxy for safeguarding customer data, and 72 percent of respondents were bound by compliance requirements.

Yet the majority of respondents found critical data, available to cloud providers but hidden from users, creates challenges with implementing proper controls (55 per cent), understanding the provider’s compliance (51 per cent), and getting documentation on the provider (51 percent) and their own workloads (42 per cent).

  • Inadequate support issues begin at onboarding and persist. The transition to cloud often requires advice and support from cloud providers. However, 51 percent of companies surveyed were not satisfied with their onboarding process, reporting it took too long (26 per cent) or lacked human support (21 per cent).

The issues continue after on-boarding, as 52 per cent were not satisfied with support due to slow response times (22 per cent), lack of expertise of the support personnel (20 per cent), lingering support issues (19 per cent), and higher than expected support costs (18 per cent).

Select recommendations for cloud customers from Forrester:

  • Get the performance, security and billing data you need to maintain stability and control costs.
  • Evaluate the native tools delivered by the cloud platform to ensure they deliver visibility, alerting and analytics.
  • Demand clarity about compliance data, on-call experts and straightforward processes from your cloud provider.
  • Look for a cloud with onboarding and support teams staffed by experts who know who you are and who pick up the phone.