News Release

Root Canal or Cloud Migration? Cisco Study Reveals Many IT Professionals Have Ways to Go in Getting Their Networks Ready for Cloud Migration

Global Report Examines Expectations and Network Challenges of IT Professionals in Thirteen Countries as They Migrate Their Applications to the Cloud – Reinforces Need for Network Update
May 08, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. – May 8, 2012 – As the role of cloud computing is growing significantly in its ability to deliver business applications, many IT decision makers are facing challenges with their existing network infrastructure to support the migration of their business applications to the cloud. An international study announced today by Cisco revealed that without the proper cloud migration strategy, more than one third (38 percent) of IT decision makers would rather get a root canal, dig a ditch, or do their own taxes than address network challenges associated with public or private cloud deployments.

These research findings provide insight into the current state of cloud networking and the chasm between IT expectations and network realities. The survey also examines the experiences of IT professionals regarding the level of difficulty and time required to update their networks and migrate their applications to the cloud.

The 2012 Cisco® Global Cloud Networking Survey addresses the applications that are most critical for businesses to move to the cloud, as well as the network challenges and potential disruptions and road blocks they are facing during this process. The report also takes a closer look at the typical length of these cloud migrations, and how confident IT professionals are in the ability of their own network deployments to securely deliver an optimal cloud application experience.

Among its findings, the 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey reveals that updating the network is one of the top focus areas for cloud migration. In order to successfully move more applications to the cloud, the majority of respondents cited a cloud-ready network (37 percent) as the biggest infrastructure element required for further cloud deployments, ahead of a virtualized data center (28 percent) or a service-level agreement from a cloud service provider (21 percent).

This data expands on the Cisco Global Cloud Index, which predicts that more than 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and that global cloud traffic will grow over 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year – the equivalent of over four days of business-class video for every person on Earth. 


  • The 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey, which included participation from more than 1,300 IT decision makers in 13 countries, was commissioned to measure the adoption of cloud services by IT professionals globally, while examining potential challenges to their cloud migrations.
  • The survey was commissioned by Cisco and distributed by Insight Express with the goal of helping businesses better understand the challenges related to the network when moving to cloud services.
  • The countries that participated in the survey were: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The complete findings are available at

Key Findings

Cloud Deployments in Perspective

  • Almost two in five (39 percent) of those surveyed said they dread network challenges associated with private or public cloud deployments so much that they would rather get a root canal, dig a ditch, or do their own taxes.
  • At the same time, nearly three quarters (73 percent) feel they are confident with enough information to begin their private or public cloud deployments. However, the remainder (27 percent) feels they have more knowledge about how to play Angry Birds than the steps needed to migrate their company's network and applications to the cloud.
  • In a clear sign that many IT organizations are still considering and planning cloud migrations, nearly one quarter (24 percent) of IT decision makers said that over the next six months, they are more likely to see a UFO, a unicorn or a ghost before they see their company's cloud migration starting and finishing.
  • Without proper processes and planning, more than one quarter (31 percent) said they could train for a marathon in a shorter period of time than it would take to migrate their company's applications to the cloud.
  • A majority (76 percent) predict their cloud applications are likely to be breached, yet only one quarter (24 percent) are confident to the point in which they believe the odds are better for them to be struck by lightning than have their cloud applications breached by an unwanted third party.

Cloud Deployments Expected to Increase Significantly by the end of 2012

  • Presently, only 5 percent of IT decision makers have been able to migrate at least half of their total applications to the cloud. By the end of 2012, that number is expected to significantly rise, as one in five (20 percent) will have deployed over half of their total applications to the cloud.

Most Critical Infrastructure for Cloud Deployments

  • In order to successfully move more applications to the cloud, the majority of respondents cited a cloud-ready network (37 percent) as the biggest infrastructure element required for further cloud deployments, ahead of a virtualized data center (28 percent) or a service-level agreement from a cloud service provider (21 percent).

Top Infrastructure Roadblocks to Cloud Migration

  • During the cloud migration process, data protection security (72 percent) was cited as the top network challenge or roadblock responsible for preventing a successful implementation of cloud services, followed by availability/reliability of cloud applications (67 percent), device-based security (66 percent), visibility and control of applications across the WAN (60 percent) and overall application performance (60 percent).

Top Choice of Application for Cloud Migration

  • If given the choice of only being able to move one application to the cloud, most respondents would choose storage (25 percent), followed by enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to manage HR, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and project management systems (20 percent). Email (16 percent) and collaboration solutions (15 percent) followed.

Reality Check: Status of Cloud Application Migration

  • When asked which applications have been moved, or are being planning to be moved to public or private clouds in the next year, the majority of IT decision makers cited email and Web services (77 percent), followed by storage (74 percent) and collaboration solutions such as Web conferencing and instant messaging (72 percent).

Expected Length of Typical Cloud Deployment

  • When asked to anticipate the length of time the transfer of applications such as Web conferencing, storage and email would take to either private or public clouds, most respondents anticipated a private cloud migration to take longer than a public one.  In addition, when asked to estimate the average length of time it would take to complete the cloud migration for their applications, most IT professionals indicated the deployment would take less than six months.

State of Virtual Desktop Deployments – and Barriers

  • When asked about their plans to deploy virtual desktops, 79 percent of IT decision makers cited it as part of their current or future plans. 25 percent are already using virtual desktops, with 35 percent planning to do so within the next year. 20 percent plan on deploying virtual desktops within one to three years.
  • Among the top barriers to keeping virtual desktop deployments from taking place, respondents cited cost (46 percent) as the primary obstacle, followed by bandwidth requirements (45 percent), virtual desktop (VDI) performance caused by WAN latency (37 percent), integration of native with virtual desktops (34 percent), and the overall complexity of the deployment (33 percent).
  • When asked the reason behind their move to the cloud, 52 percent of respondents claimed it was an imperative made by their business or CIO to in order to improve costs, productivity and agility; 41 percent said they're simply following the industry or their peers; and 30 percent are doing so because of customer requirements.

Source of Information When Making Cloud Decisions

  • Cloud service providers are the main source of intelligence or information about cloud services (25 percent), followed by industry analysts (16 percent), industry peers (15 percent) and infrastructure vendors (14 percent).

Personal Experience of IT Professionals Regarding Security and Network Performance

  • Nearly two in five participants (39 percent) said they would not trust their own personal information – such as medical records and Social Security numbers – with the cloud provider they are currently using.
  • More than half (52 percent) of IT decision makers said they have a better overall application experience at home with their personal networks than they do at work.

Supporting Quotes

  • Praveen Akkiraju, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Services Routing Technology Group: "As cloud adoption is increasing at a rapid rate, businesses need to be fully aware of the necessary steps when planning for a cloud model that is right for their organization. The Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey  offers valuable insight into what these organizations are experiencing in their cloud migrations, and provides a real-world analysis to help businesses better understand the challenges related getting their networks ready for cloud services.

Supporting Resources

Tags/keywords: Cisco, routing, WAN Optimization, switching, security, wireless, mobility, cloud, IT, survey, Borderless Networks. Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey, Praveen Akkiraju, cloud computing, cloud services, cloud migrations, applications, VDI, WAN latency, virtual desktop, Interop, Interop Las Vegas 2012

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