There is no question that the rate of cloud adoption is increasing as companies recognize its benefits and identify additional IT functions to migrate. But the scenarios change with each company’s structure. In fact, IDG Enterprise’s 2014 Cloud Computing Survey of 1,672 IT decision-makers in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific found, not surprisingly, that the pace of adoption and implementation focus varied according to company size, industry and job titles of parties involved. One consistency? Cloud security concerns remain the top challenge to deployment. Read on to learn about the current state of cloud adoption and where it’s heading in 2015.
Cloud usage will continue to increase
More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents have already made cloud investments, with the remaining respondents planning to make investments within the next three years. Cloud adoption is also anticipated to increase at a steady pace over the next 18 months. Companies surveyed expect to be operating an average of 53% of their IT environments in the cloud.
The survey results also suggest that companies are eyeing a mix of public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud environments. Current cloud deployments are split about evenly between public cloud (15%) and private cloud (19%) implementations. Larger firms (those with 1,000 or more employees) and companies providing financial services tend to prefer private clouds. Migration to hybrid clouds, which involve connecting a mix of public and private cloud infrastructures, is expected to increase by 56% by the end of 2015. Despite the significant increase, it is estimated that hybrid clouds will represent only 7% of the average company’s IT environment by that time.
IT Leaders make the majority of cloud investments
Despite the advent of “shadow IT” where departments other than IT invest in their own cloud solutions, the majority of companies (56%) cited IT as the chief decision makers for cloud investments. Seventy percent of large companies and 52% of small to mid-sized companies said that the CIO is involved in all cloud purchasing decisions.
Despite IT’s continued influence in cloud decisions, business leaders in departments such as marketing, sales and human resources are driving their own cloud investments. But how much influence they have is up for debate. According to the survey, business managers expect to fund 40% of cloud spending in 2015, while IT leaders anticipate only 27% of spend coming from outside the technology budget.
Companies rely on cloud providers for help in selling cloud solutions to decision makers
With companies in the throes of structuring their 2015 budgets, many of them are turning to cloud vendors for “proof points” to help them sell specific cloud benefits to executive leadership. Regardless of selecting private or public cloud, companies want assistance in proving that investing in the cloud will reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) and enhance speed of deployment. Those companies who are selecting public clouds want evidence that it will improve customer support or services. Those eyeing private clouds are looking for ways to make a case for replacing on-premise legacy technology.
Companies are expanding their portfolio of cloud services
As companies get more comfortable with cloud-based solutions, they are looking to expand their portfolio. Companies who are currently migrating to the cloud are using it for cloud mail or messaging (49%), followed by collaboration and conferencing services (43%), and customer relationship management and sales force automation applications (30%). However, many of these companies appear to be expanding their cloud portfolio over the next three years. Thirty-eight percent plan to move data storage and data management to the cloud, following by business and data analytics (35%).
Cloud security remains a top concern
Cloud security continues to be a potential roadblock for companies migrating to the cloud. Fifty-two percent of non-IT leaders cited security as a top concern, compared to 62% of IT leaders. Seventy-four percent of security decision makers say that they are very or somewhat confident about cloud security. However, 56% of them are less confident about enforcing their security policies at provider sites.
IDG’s survey also reports that given a list of ten ways that cloud vendors could become trusted partners, the top three that respondents chose were: providing security reports (66%), implementing monitoring and access control policies (61%) and incorporating security into their system development lifecycle (58%).
Bottom line – security can make or break a deal with companies. More than half of respondents said that ensuring the security of cloud service providers can meet their company’s compliant hosting requirements is the number one issue they have to address before they can go all in with the cloud.
While cloud computing is continuing to make inroads, companies continue to rely on trusted cloud service providers to help them maximize their investments.
Considering the cloud? HOSTING stands ready to help. Contact us anytime to speak with a cloud solutions expert. And join us on November 20th for our latest webinar The Cloud is Here – Are You Ready? for help in assessing your organization’s cloud-readiness.