As this year comes to a close, let's take one last look at the most pervasive cloud computing trends -- including increased usage across the different cloud service models, the key business drivers and the impact of agile innovation strategies.
Cloud computing adoption has matured, with 69 percent of survey respondents stating that at least a portion of their computing infrastructure is in the cloud. However, 56 percent of companies are still identifying IT operations that could potentially move to the cloud, according to the latest market study by IDG Enterprise.
Survey respondents believe that business technology is a game changer, and cloud solutions are providing advantages from increasing IT agility (63 percent), IT innovation (61 percent) and improving the ability to access critical business data and digital service applications (58 percent).
Removing the Barriers to Cloud Adoption
That said, IT leaders perspective on barriers to bringing these advantages to fruition differs from their Line of Business (LOB) counterparts. There is agreement, however, that a company's biggest challenge to implementing a cloud platform is ensuring security.
But there's a significant disconnect on the second most important barrier. IT leaders are concerned about integration (46 percent). In contrast, LOB leaders believe measuring return-on-investment is a more important challenge (37 percent).
"As use of cloud solutions mature, more than half of companies surveyed are shifting from adoption to upgraded services," said Brian Glynn, chief revenue officer of IDG Enterprise. "This opens the door for new and existing solution providers as businesses continue to look for ways to improve agility and innovation while balancing enterprise security and risk."
Cloud Service Preferences are Evolving
Three-quarters of companies are confident that the assets they have placed in the cloud are secure. To help companies have a sense of control, 80 percent have already created, or will create, a governance policy in the next year.
Also, public cloud (60 percent) and private cloud (57 percent) solutions remain the preferred environments compared to hybrid cloud (19 percent). As more workloads move into the cloud, the amount of data stored in private and public clouds will each increase to 25 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in the next 18 months.
Since 2012, cloud investments have increased by 19 percent, with large enterprises spending on average $3.3 million a year, compared to SMBs spending $400,000. Moreover, spending on cloud solutions will account for almost a quarter of IT budgets in the coming year.
Cloud Deployment Motivation is Strategic
Current estimates show that 23 percent of spending on cloud solutions happens outside of the IT department -- with marketing, sales and human resources most often investing in solutions.
Besides, even when a cloud solution is purchased by LOB leaders, the IT team can still be involved in the management of the project. And, in instances where IT does not lead the project, 45 percent of the time IT is still called upon to take over the project.
No matter who initiates the move to cloud, one thing will always be certain, CEOs and other senior executives that approve the budget are not enamored by the technology -- they have a strategic imperative and they seek a meaningful competitive advantage in the marketplace.