How companies are adopting cloud computing and how they are addressing the changes that it entails in the management of IT resources? RightScale tries to find the answers in its RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Survey.
The survey results found that cloud adoption is picking up steam as enterprises increase both public and private cloud adoption. More interestingly, enterprises have increased the adoption of public cloud services.
Much of that credit goes to how public cloud services like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, RackSpace and others are aggressively marketing their offerings. Nearly 1,100 enterprises and small-and-mid-sized businesses (SMBs) surveyed, 89 percent are using public cloud for something and the rest are planning to use in future.
RightScale evaluated responses with a Cloud Maturity Model segregating into four different sections – Cloud Watchers, Cloud Beginners, Cloud Explorers and Cloud Focused. Cloud Watchers are defined as organizations that are developing cloud strategies and plans but have not yet deployed applications into the cloud. Cloud Beginners are new to cloud computing and are working on proof-of-concepts or initial cloud projects. Cloud Explorers have multiple projects or applications already deployed in the cloud. Finally, Cloud Focused businesses are heavily using cloud infrastructure.
The report says enterprises are adopting cloud computing in record numbers and have leveraged growing experience to overcome many of the early challenges including security. Large enterprises are complex and understandably deliberate in cloud adoption, yet with increased adoption they continue to unlock more value.
According to the report, hybrid and multi-cloud implementations continue to be the end goal for the enterprise. About three quarters of those surveyed this year (74 percent) said to have a multi-cloud strategy, and 48 percent are planning for hybrid clouds. Nearly 94 percent of organizations surveyed are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service and 87 percent of organizations are using public cloud. Moreover, less than a third of organizations have defined such critical aspects of governance as which clouds can be used; disaster recovery approaches; and cost management.
Amazon continues to lead the public cloud use with 54 percent of respondents overall named Amazon Web Services as their vendor. RackSpace comes second with 12 percent and Google App Engine, a Platform as a Service, third at 9 percent. Test and development applications top the list, with more than 85 percent of cloud-focused companies deploying them in the cloud. Customer web apps (78 percent), internal web apps (70 percent), batch processing (62 percent), and mobile apps (54 percent) also are deployed in the cloud by a majority of Cloud Focused organizations.
The report further says that as organizations adopt cloud more broadly, they realize increasingly more value, and the challenges of adopting cloud decline. Organizations indicate that the top benefits that they have already realized are greater scalability, faster access to infrastructure, higher availability, and faster time to market for applications.
Security is still remain number one priority among Cloud Beginners (31 percent) but decreases to the fifth most cited (13 percent) among Cloud Focused organizations. Concerns about cloud security declined in 2014 among both Cloud Beginners and Cloud Focused respondents.
Another recent study by Computer Economics found that IT companies were on average able to save over 15 percent IT spending per user if they are moving to cloud. These savings in costs associated with strategic benefits such as agility, speed, scalability and argue in favor of organizations moving aggressively to the cloud.