While cloud computing continues to gain steam -- with relatively all major IT vendors on board -- now is a good time to examine the current state of cloud adoption. This may help us all validate assumptions or change course and plan ahead.
If we were to create a snapshot of the current state of cloud adoption across the different ambits where cloud computing is creating significant markets and delivering value -- it would look like this:
Leadership Pipeline – With the worldwide public cloud services market estimated to be at $131 billion in 2013; established and new cloud players are making this a highly competitive market with dependable offerings that enterprises can bet their business on. The cloud market continues to be led by pioneers such as Amazon and Salesforce.com while Microsoft, VMware, Google and IBM (along with SoftLayer) continue to make positive gains in market share. Oracle, SAP, HP, Rackspace (News - Alert), Terremark, NetSuite, etc. are emerging as serious contenders.
Leverage Strategy - From being seen as a technology enabler earlier on, cloud computing is now being extolled for bringing reach, speed and flexibility to businesses. Most technology-enabled and/or technology-driven businesses are either already investing or plan to make serious investments in cloud computing.
Enterprise Scenario - Cloud-managed business applications, field force connectivity and enablement of enterprise processes are becoming a priority for enterprises. Cloud is also being considered as an integral part of the business continuity strategy and such use cases are causing a great disruption to traditional IT enterprises.
ISVs Scenario - We see an enhanced trend with ISVs incorporating cloud/SaaS (News - Alert)-based offerings in their portfolios in order to remain competitive. On the one hand, ISVs are re-architecting existing applications for the cloud, while other groups are focused on building entirely new, cloud-only offerings in order to accelerate time to market. Internet apps, user/content-centric apps, Web services, collaboration, communication and management apps are the major beneficiaries.
Public Cloud Acceptance - According to a recent estimate by Gartner (News - Alert), the public cloud services market is expected to grow 62% by 2015, indicating increased spending on cloud services. Public cloud giants such as Amazon Web Services continue to make significant advancements into core areas like government, financial and public security through various cloud engagements like GovCloud, FinQloud and the recently announced CIA contract.
Other Cloud Models - Hybrid clouds are becoming increasingly strategic as enterprises express their comfort level with this model. Enterprise applications, such as those that demand low latency or deal with sensitive information, are running in private clouds (close to the users) while other Internet-facing applications are being run on public clouds. Technology vendors such as IBM (News - Alert), HP and VMware are bringing attention to many converged IT solutions that are scalable, highly available and are more easily managed than traditional systems.
SaaS - According to a recent PWC report, subscription revenue (including SaaS) is set to grow at a 17.5% compounded annual rate, reaching 24% of total software revenue by 2016. SaaS services such as CRM, support, human capital management, and office productivity have become firmly entrenched across businesses from small to large. With players such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure, ISVs are counting on an added productivity boost to develop and manage their SaaS offerings. Gartner predicts that 77% of companies plan to increase their spending on SaaS in the next two years.
Open Source - Cloud technologies such as OpenStack and Apache CloudStack continue to develop a solid fan base and promise to offer an equal technology realm across different industry segments to create a level playing field. The open source PaaS framework Cloud Foundry with its recently revised strategy has started creating an ecosystem that promises to significantly impact the PaaS roadmap for organizations.
Innovation Possibilities - Cloud computing is becoming the must-have for businesses to fuel faster innovation –delivering real competitive advantage. Cloud-based technology naturally propels and has the potential to promote trends like a mobile-first service strategy, Big Data-based delivery of business insights as a service, and machine-to-machine auto-collaboration systems that are capable of delivering greater and safer human life experiences.
Cloud computing adoption has gained significant traction as new technology developments continue to present better, faster and easier ways to harness its potential and as more enterprises continue to explore and push the capabilities of cloud computing. There are a number of ways to measure and evaluate cloud adoption across different cloud contexts. What is your state of cloud adoption – how far are you along? Share your thoughts and comments by writing [email protected]
Edited by Stefania Viscusi