There once was a time when many business leaders around the world stood on the sidelines, while the early-adopters of cloud computing reaped the rewards with their first-to-market deployments. Today, managed cloud services are considered a mainstream business technology for all takers -- with only the most uninformed laggards still disputing the apparent benefits.
With 90 percent of companies claiming some form of cloud usage, many organizations have moved to the next step, leveraging multiple cloud models in different combinations to optimize benefits and efficiencies, according to findings from the latest market study by CompTIA.
As cloud computing becomes a default part of the business technology landscape, more companies are relying on cloud computing for business processes such as storage (59 percent), business continuity and disaster recovery (48 percent) and security (44 percent).
“Once companies hit a stage where they are using cloud systems as a standard part of IT architecture, they weigh the pros and cons of various providers and models and continually shift to achieve the optimal mix,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, market research, CompTIA.
It's a very fluid environment, where companies are moving from one public cloud service provider to another, moving from a public cloud provider to their own private cloud, or moving applications back on-premise.
CompTIA’s study found that more than six in ten cloud users have made secondary shifts of infrastructure or applications following their original transition to the cloud.
Public to Public: The most popular type of move is from one public cloud provider to another. Factors for switching providers include security, costs, features, open standards, outages and customer service.
Public to Private: Many businesses may give the label “private cloud” to a virtualized set of resources. A true private cloud employs software that manages resources automatically, dynamically allocating as needed without manual intervention.
Public to On-Premise: By far the primary motivation to move back to an on-premise system is security. Companies may simply move a particular application that gives them concern, while they still have less sensitive applications on public cloud platforms.
“In the future, companies will have their architecture spread across multiple clouds along with on-premise systems, choosing the option that best suits their needs for a particular application,” added Robinson.
This is no different than a traditional data center with servers that are configured for different purposes, but the management challenges are much greater. As the industry moves toward a multi-cloud paradigm, there will be opportunities for service providers to help manage the growing complexity.
Cloud Models are Transforming eCommerce
While cloud computing is becoming highly adopted and well accepted, there are still many challenges to be address as companies transform themselves:
Procurement: The incidence of rogue IT -- where lines of business are procuring their own cloud solutions without necessarily involving the IT department -- has dropped slightly, but companies must still find ways to ensure that both business needs and IT concerns are being addressed.
Cost Tracking: Nine percent of companies are not tracking costs and another 12 percent are finding savings to be lower than estimated. Higher usage costs, staff training and network upgrades can contribute to cost surprises.
Policies: Companies that have three or more years of cloud adoption history find that modifying policy has become a greater challenge than integration, showing that transforming business practices is just as difficult as a technical migration.