The anticipated benefits from adopting managed cloud services have reached the executives suites of many corporations. Proactive CEOs and CFOs are pushing their IT leadership team to seek out actionable information and guidance.
There's also a constant stream of service providers announcing new offerings -- and the momentum is becoming a global phenomenon. As a result, Forrester Research has witnessed an expanding number of client inquiries around cloud computing.
The acceleration in market development has been building for some time now. Forrester analysts responded to more than 264 client inquiries about cloud computing between January 2008 and April 1, 2009 from companies of all sizes and industries.
IT Teams are Adopting Cloud Strategies
Once considered a niche business technology where awareness was viewed as optional, Forrester now says that knowledge of cloud computing has become an IT organization necessity. Interest is fueled by expectations of major cost savings, scalable and dynamic environments, on-demand infrastructure, and much smaller maintenance requirements.
In a recent research note, Forrester outlined the most common questions about cloud services.
Twenty-three percent of cloud computing inquiries were about the types of applications that companies were moving into the cloud and how best to leverage cloud service environments. People want to know the spectrum of possibilities -- what apps to put in the cloud?
Some questions are motivated by the need for improved business agility. The promise of better scalability and versatility makes cloud services appealing. Moreover, innovation is often stifled by the investment needed to acquire and deploy new IT infrastructure and associated application environments.
Fifteen percent of the inquiries were on challenges, risks, and the effects of cloud-based services on IT -- such as, what are the typical use cases, and how much enterprise data should live in public clouds?
Clouds are Coexisting in Hybrid Models
Forrester believes questions regarding when to build internal clouds, and the "internal vs. external" debate, will be at the forefront of cloud computing due diligence in the coming months -- which cloud service scenario is a best-fit for our particular needs?
Forrester concluded from their client engagements that cloud computing represents a significant shift in the way IT operates today -- it's not a passing fad, it's a trend that's based upon solid business need for a change in the status quo.
The following are Forrester's recommendations:
- Know your costs, requirements, and potential areas for cost saving.
- Businesses with basic requirements can begin to pilot public clouds.
- Evaluate internal clouds, while also considering a hybrid model.
- Formulate standards, and a cloud policy to govern procurement.