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    Solving the Cloud
    Complexity Quandary

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    What Manufacturers Stand to Gain by Increasing the
    Consistency of Their Cloud Management Experience

    Research conducted on behalf of:
    Dell Technologies
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    Intel logo


    In a first-of-its-kind study, Dell Technologies, VMware, and Intel Corporation set out to understand how organizations are managing disparate cloud environments. To do so, we partnered with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) to conduct a global survey of 1,257 IT decision makers at organizations using cloud services today.

    What did we learn? In short, cloud chaos is the norm, with only a few organizations having harnessed the power of consistent cloud management.

    This holds true in the manufacturing sector: Of the 173 manufacturers represented, just 4% reported they have a consistent management experience across their on-premises and cloud environments.

    However, manufacturers recognize the significant opportunity cloud consistency represents.

    Manufacturers have a fragmented cloud management experience today;

    Just 4%

    have made significant progress toward enabling consistent cloud management.

    Key Findings

    Manufacturers see ample opportunity to drive both business and technical improvements for their organizations with increased cloud management consistency:


    average expected reduction in infrastructure costs.


    average expected reduction in security breaches/outages.


    average expected reduction in time to change where applications are running.


    average reduction in missed cloud migration/development timelines.


    average weekly full-time employee hour savings.


    week average reduction in product cycle time.


    additional incremental products launched annually.

    However, proprietary data structures and reliance on on-premises infrastructure pose challenges.


    of manufacturers view cloud management consistency as essential and/or important to optimize IT operations.

    Defining Cloud Management Consistency

    To assess cloud management consistency, we included three questions in the survey:

    • How many infrastructure management tools are in use to administer public cloud resources?

    • Is the organization able to use any of the same infrastructure management tools on-premises as it does for public cloud resources?

    • Are the infrastructure management tools used across on- and off-premises locations extensively relied upon?

    Organizations are considered to have a high degree of cloud management consistency if they have consolidated their cloud management tools down to three discrete tools or fewer that are usable regardless of infrastructure locality (on-premises or off-premises), and are using those same tools to manage the majority of their on-premises environments.


    of manufacturers have fragmented cloud management environments.


    of manufacturers say public cloud adoption has increased IT complexity.

    Just 4%

    of manufacturers surveyed reported their organizations meet all of these criteria today.

    What’s Holding Manufacturers Back?

    One answer: Legacy on-premises infrastructure. In order to have a consistent cloud management experience across on- and off-premises locations, an organization’s on-premises infrastructure must be cloud capable. Manufacturers as a cohort are significantly behind other verticals in terms of on-premises infrastructure functionality.

    Percent of organizations where on-premises infrastructure capabilities exceed public cloud alternatives

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    An Unrealized

    The Expected Technical Benefits of Increasing
    Cloud Management Consistency

    Technical Outcome Conclusions

    Across all areas of IT operations, most respondents agree that increasing cloud management consistency will improve technical outcomes. The aggregated research showed that respondents would expect up to:


    reduction in
    infrastructure costs.


    reduction in
    security incidents.


    less missed timelines,
    meaning faster cloud
    project completion.


    reduction in calendar time
    to move workloads, meaning
    increased workload mobility.

    How Cloud Consistency Will Lower Cost

    Most respondents at manufacturers believe increased cloud management consistency will drive down infrastructure costs. Why? Improved administrator expertise enabled by a unified management toolset, leading to fewer errors and inefficient provisioning decisions, is one driver. More efficient code that eliminates application architecture decisions that can drive up costs in cloud operating models is another. Finally, increased workload portability, which allows organizations to adjust where workloads run in real time to capitalize on changing economic profiles among clouds, also helps drive down costs.

    All of these technical impacts, and many others, have a direct effect on the overall cost of the environment, so it is not surprising to note that manufacturers believe increasing cloud management consistency would reduce infrastructure costs by an average of 17%.

    By how much do you believe your organization could reduce infrastructure costs through more consistent cloud management?

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    Average infrastructure cost reduction expected:


    How Cloud Consistency Will Strengthen Security

    Toggling between numerous management consoles creates more than inefficiency and cost; it adds risk. Ensuring that cloud instances are configured properly and patched efficiently is a critical step to preventing exploits and data loss. As the number of cloud instances running on different cloud platforms rises, so does the difficulty associated with enforcing the proper security policies. Additionally, the delineation of security responsibilities, i.e., the shared responsibility model for cloud security, can vary among clouds, exposing organizations to hidden risks. Consolidating the management of cloud instances gives administrators greater visibility and reduces configuration and patching blind spots.

    By what percentage do you believe your organization would reduce the number of security breaches, outages, or other events through more consistent cloud management?

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    Average reduction in security incidents expected:


    How Cloud Consistency Will Speed Project Completion

    While cloud projects can help an organization in theory, their execution can sometimes be a problem. Many IT organizations do not have enough staff that are fully cloud fluent, used to architecting infrastructure for multi-year time horizons, or familiar with the concept of managing infrastructure as code. Moreover, organizations exacerbate these staffing challenges by introducing multiple cloud management platforms into the environment. The result is that many cloud projects take longer to complete than planned. But by driving cloud management consistency, staff can ramp their cloud skills more quickly, which translates to getting projects off the ground more quickly.

    By what degree do you think you could reduce missed timelines for cloud projects through more consistent cloud management?

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    Average reduction in missed timelines expected:


    How Cloud Consistency Will Increase Workload Mobility

    77% of manufacturers consider the freedom to deploy workloads wherever they want to be one of their top-five technology initiatives. Increasing cloud consistency offers great promise: Nearly all (96%) manufacturers see increasing infrastructure consistency as helping reduce the time it takes to change a workload’s placement. Why? Using familiar tools and models for application migrations creates efficiencies for administrators, increasing their comfort with tasks while reducing their errors.

    By what percentage do you believe your organization would reduce the time it takes to change where an application is run through more consistent cloud management?

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    Average reduction in workload migration time expected:


    An Unrealized

    The Expected Business Benefits of Increasing
    Cloud Management Consistency

    Business Outcome Conclusions

    Respondents agree that increasing cloud management consistency will improve business outcomes. The aggregated research showed that respondents would expect up to:

    Estimated 56 person-hours saved per week, freeing up staff for more strategic projects.

    5.3-week reduction
    in typical product
    launch/cycle time.

    An estimated 5 more
    products launched
    per year.

    How Cloud Consistency Will Advance Strategic Projects

    89% of manufacturers believe increased cloud management consistency would enable staff to be refocused to other projects based on need, and nearly all expect increased cloud consistency would free up time. IT staff have many competing priorities. Performing basic operational tasks on their infrastructure should not be at the top of their task list. Their time is better spent strategizing hybrid cloud initiatives, collaborating with lines of business on digital transformation projects, and finding other ways to drive innovation and competitive differentiation for the company.

    How many full-time equivalents (FTEs)/person-hours do you think your organization would save on infrastructure management through more consistent cloud management?

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    Average person-hours expected to be saved:


    How Cloud Consistency Will Impact Business Innovation

    Manufacturers agree that the efficiency, agility, and accelerated cloud transformation all enabled by increasing cloud management consistency will also impact overall business innovation. Whether getting products into the hands of customers sooner, getting products to market that wouldn’t have existed otherwise, or both, cloud management consistency is expected to dramatically transform organizational innovation.

    By how much do you think your organization could reduce its typical product launch/cycle time through more consistent cloud management?

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    Average reduction in launch/
    product cycle time (weeks):


    How many additional new products/services do you think your organization could launch annually through more consistent cloud management?

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    Average expected incremental
    product launches per year:


    Make IT Real:
    Plex Manufacturing

    Watch the customer case study to see how Plex is partnering with Dell Technologies to drive manufacturing success within the cloud.

    plex logo

    The Bigger Truth

    Across the entire respondent base, organizations on the leading edge of cloud management consistency see outcomes that far exceeded expectations across a multitude of areas.

    Cloud leaders have freed up 70.5 person-hours per week for more strategic projects.

    Cloud leaders complete 23% more cloud projects on or ahead of schedule.

    Cloud leaders save 2.4 work-weeks per cloud migration.

    Cloud leaders finish 19% more cloud projects on or under budget.

    90% of cloud leaders boost management efficiency and simplify operations.

    Manufacturers must strive for cloud consistency. The research is abundantly clear: The opportunity cost of not creating a consistent cloud management experience is high. Manufacturers that do not advance on this front will be out-innovated by competitors that do, while spending more and increasing organizational risk. The good news is that we are in the early stages of the game, but organizations should focus on significant cloud consistency improvements over the next 12-18 months.


    To gather data for this report, ESG conducted a comprehensive online survey of 1,257 IT decision makers from private- and public-sector organizations in 11 countries: US (33%), Canada (4%), UK (13%), France (9%), Germany (7%), Singapore (5%), Australia (5%), India (4%), Hong Kong (3%), Brazil (8%), and Mexico (8%). The survey was fielded between September 17, 2019 and October 12, 2019.

    To qualify for this survey, respondents were required to have influence on the purchase of cloud investments (public or private) at organizations utilizing public cloud infrastructure and operating modernized on-premises data center environments. Totals in charts and tables throughout this report may not add up to 100% due to rounding. The figures below detail the demographics of respondents employed at healthcare and life science companies.

    In which of the following areas of IT do you have significant involvement in the purchase process for your company? (Percent of respondents, N=173, multiple responses accepted)

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    How many total employees does your organization have worldwide? (Percent of respondents, N=173)

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    Which of the following best describes your current job title/level? (Percent of respondents, N=173)

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

    How Dell Technologies Cloud Can Help

    About Dell Technologies Cloud on VMWare Cloud Foundation:

    Dell Technologies Cloud built on VMware Cloud Foundation is a set of cloud infrastructure solutions designed to enable a consistent operating model and simplified management across private clouds, public clouds, and edge locations, which reduces the barriers of cloud adoption and provides the ability to let application and business requirements determine where workloads reside. This vision for the Dell Technologies portfolio is based on Dell’s understanding of cloud as an operating model, not a place, and ambition to become the trusted technology partner for organizations that are looking to reduce the complexity of multiple cloud environments with a consistent infrastructure and operations layer.

    To learn more about how Dell Technologies Cloud can help you, start here

    About Intel®:

    Intel and Dell are driving innovation and next-generation capabilities to move, store, and process everything with the broadest portfolio of trusted infrastructure, cloud, and data protection solutions enabling businesses to adopt transformative technologies to maximize performance, compete, and thrive in the new digital economy.

    Dell Technologies
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    Intel logo

    All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at 508.482.0188.