Virtualization Technology News and Information
Cloud Adoption Goes Mainstream, Yet Security Remains Top of Mind
IDG Enterprise -- the leading enterprise technology media company, composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World -- demonstrates the transition cloud computing has made from an emerging technology to a mainstream tech powerhouse in the 2016 IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey. While 70% of organizations have at least one application in the cloud, adoption is still ramping up. More than half of organizations (56%) are still identifying IT operations for cloud hosting. The study explores cloud usage, future plans, staff involvement and security.

Cloud is Mainstream. Now What?
Since our 2011 study, organizations with at least one application in the cloud have increased by 19 percentage points, up from 51%. As use of cloud solutions becomes more mainstream, it is interesting to note that adoption at U.S.-based organizations (75%) and enterprises (organizations with 1,000+ employees - 75%) is stronger than non-U.S. based organizations (60%) and SMBs (organizations with <1,000 employees - 65%). Increased adoption and larger budgets appear to go hand-in-hand, with U.S.-based organizations budgeting $1.77M for cloud spending over the next year compared to $1.30M for non-U.S. based organizations. Overall, enterprises take the lead in budget estimates at $3.03M versus $286k for SMBs.

Top cloud investments focus on business efficiencies including lower total cost of ownership (42%), replacing on-premise legacy technology (35%), and enabling business continuity (33%). Currently, half of organizations (47%) use cloud solutions for email and messaging. But, organizations are not looking to maintain the status quo with how they are using cloud. As organizations explore applications they anticipate moving to the cloud in the next 12-36 months, the leading applications are data storage/management and business/data analytics, both at 43%.

Organizations are using multiple cloud models to meet their business's needs, including private (62%), public (60%), and hybrid (26%). The percentage of the total IT environment that will be in the cloud in the next 18 months is anticipated to grow. Currently, 23% of an organization's IT environment is in private cloud, and that is anticipated to increase to 28%. There is similar growth for public cloud (15% now to 22%), and hybrid cloud (7% now to 10%). Organizations are using both traditional and emerging cloud models. Most organizations currently use storage-as-a-service models (45%), but as they explore new IT operations to move to the cloud, IT decision-makers are planning to deploy disaster recovery-as-a-service (33%), storage-as-a-service (27%), database-as-a-service (27%), and mobility-as-a-service (27%).

"Technology is transforming at the speed of light. Cloud computing stands out as a solution that can help accelerate technology initiatives and connect people and processes where there previously may have been barriers," said Brian Glynn, chief revenue officer, IDG Enterprise. "We are at a time where companies are not asking if cloud should be used, but how. Enterprises are leading the way on what is possible. Given their human and capital resources they are able to fully test cloud options to help them innovate and provide strong solutions to their customers."

Who is Calling the Shots?
Employees throughout the organization benefit from cloud solutions, however, purchase influence lies with IT in enterprise organizations and is shared with business stakeholders at SMBs.

Top Cloud Influencers

CIO - 90%  CEO - 81%
IT Architect - 84%  CIO - 79%
IT Management - 81%  CFO - 71%
CSO/CISO - 80%  IT Management - 64%
CTO - 77%  IT Architect - 62%

Beyond purchase decisions and strategy, cloud adoption impacts the overall IT organization. In the next year, cloud computing will increase collaboration between IT and other business stakeholders, and the IT department may evolve, including changes in structure, training or the repositioning of current staff and/or new IT skillsets sought. Enterprise organizations are hiring the most new roles and functions because of needed cloud skillsets, specifically cloud architect/engineer, cloud systems administrator and security architect/engineer. However, the IT team may not feel these changes as strongly in the coming year as they have in the past. Since 2014 the number of respondents anticipating impact in these areas has declined annually.

Challenges - Security and Beyond
Even though cloud adoption has become a mainstream solution, new projects still face some barriers. Organizations pay careful attention to where data will be stored, overall security concerns and vendor lock-in. There are also several critical/very important considerations when determining what to migrate, from the sensitivity of the data (82%), to importance of the application to daily business operations (76%), and the cost of migration (74%). With these concerns top of mind, organizations are not just sitting back; 73% have adopted at least one cloud security component.

Vendors play a role in helping organizations fully embrace cloud. With industry and federal regulations, organizations are looking for vendors that can meet their existing compliance standards. Private and public cloud vendors should also be prepared to help customers relay security benefits to other project stakeholders.

"Cloud solution providers have a unique opportunity. Fifty-six percent of organizations are exploring opportunities to migrate more applications to the cloud and budgets are strong," continued Glynn. "Beyond innovative solutions, security needs to take a leading role for success."

Published Tuesday, November 01, 2016 12:18 PM by David Marshall
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