A chart in Rackspace's Cloud Reality Check survey illustrates how IT teams allocate their time

Rackspace Survey Suggests Cloud Hosting Could Save IT Teams Time


IT teams from mid-sized UK and US businesses spend more than half of their time on server management and troubleshooting on an average month, according to the Cloud Reality Check survey released by Rackspace on Thursday.

Based on the responses from IT decision-makers at 500 mid-sized UK and US businesses, the report aims to provide insight into how they approach server management. The report is a follow-up to a similar study Rackspace commissioned in 2009, according to the press release.

According to the report, the majority of IT decision-makers are not outsourcing server management, and are spending most of their time dealing with day-to-day issues rather than spending time on strategic, value-add activities. 38 percent of respondents expect to outsource their in-house servers in two to five years, with security still the number one reason to server outsourcing. A recent report by Alert Logic suggests that variety and frequency of security threats is actually greater in on-premise environments.

The report suggests that the average UK IT team member would spend an estimated 912 hours a year servicing servers. Web hosts may be able to use this information to upsell mid-sized businesses on support features, and cloud hosting.

“The challenge for mid-sized businesses is to stop unnecessarily holding onto their in-house physical servers, and give themselves a chance to focus on more important and valuable work,” Fabio Torlini, VP of cloud at Rackspace said in a statement. The challenge for cloud service providers is to provide the right advice and services to help more of them overcome the barriers to doing just this.”

Rackspace says that 59 percent of UK respondents say they have bought too many, or too few servers. In the US, 67 percent say they have purchased the wrong number of servers, compared with 47 percent in 2009. It is clear that mid-sized businesses may need more guidance when it comes to calculating their hardware needs, or may be more suited to a highly scalable cloud hosting service.

The report finds that 87 percent of respondents are facing demands from the board to reduce IT spending, up from 65 percent in 2009. This illustrates the need for mid-sized businesses to have more transparency into the spending of their cloud hosting services with tools that track usage and resources. On Wednesday, IT management software firm OS33 updated its web-based cloud dashboard that analyzes how cloud computing resources are used.

Other tools like the free cloud workflow management service from Flux, released on Wednesday, could help encourage mid-sized businesses to adopt cloud hosting, and support the time, and budget requirements.

Talk back: What do you think about the hesitation of mid-sized firms in outsourcing server management? Has this hesitation been an obstacle in selling cloud hosting? What else do you take away from these results? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Mike

    Can we stop with this "cloud" word already? CLOUD = INTERNET people. Stop with the marketing jargon.