As The Cloud Picks Up Speed, Enterprises Are Taking Different Routes to Success – If They Overcome Obstacles
The cloud computing phenomenon is currently one of the biggest and most disruptive occurrences to happen in the business IT landscape in some time, as companies of all sizes are deploying the hosted services for a variety of reasons. In some cases, enterprises are launching scalable hosted PBX solutions to improve their overall collaborative strategies, while other smaller firms are implementing the cloud to embrace big data and find innovative opportunities to stay competitive with larger organizations.
Regardless of how the cloud is spun, the fact remains that the majority of companies are using the technology in one way or another. This was highlighted in a recent CompTIA report that stated roughly 90 percent of enterprises have claimed at least some reason for launching and using the cloud. However, the inherent diversity of today's business world means that not all corporate decision-makers are approaching the hosted services with the same needs and objectives. In fact, a large portion of firms have taken to the notion of leveraging more than one cloud solution, as doing so improves the odds of experiencing success in the long run.
CompTIA revealed that improving disaster recovery, storage and security are often the most common reasons for deploying the cloud, though organizations are beginning to recognize the benefits that come along with launching multiple clouds simultaneously. In fact, more than 60 percent of enterprises claim to have made cloud infrastructure or application transformations after their initial deployment. This might mean decision-makers implemented a cloud VoIP solution after removing unnecessary storage contracts, or they may have simply recognized a different cloud service altogether as more advantageous.
"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. A healthy percentage of companies are moving from one public cloud provider to another, moving from a public cloud provider to their own private cloud or moving applications back on-premise," said Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis and market research at CompTIA.
In the future, experts believe this hybrid strategy will be the way all IT architectures are built, as leveraging on-site and off-premise technologies combines the best of both worlds without introducing ugly costs and problems.
The Future of Computing
Regardless of whether decision-makers use a mix of public and private clouds or decide to jump between environments over time, the likely truth is that companies will have the option to do so, regardless of current obstacles.
"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. This is no different than a traditional data center with servers that are configured for different purposes, but the management challenges are much greater," Robinson said.
A separate survey by TheInfoPro, a service of 451 Research, highlighted similar findings, noting that approximately 60 percent of organizations believe the cloud is part of the natural evolution of IT service delivery, transforming the way companies function on a fundamental level. While internal clouds are still sought after the most, organizations are expanding their horizons and approaching different models and solutions, though not always without difficulty.
In fact, TheInfoPro found that the majority of companies encounter some sort of obstacle when implementing the cloud. Interestingly, these complications are no longer technical in nature, as they were in the past. In other words, enterprises are mentally struggling to overcome cloud challenges relating to politics and people, not necessarily security or performance.
"As organizations are completing their transition to a virtualized data center infrastructure, their focus is switching rapidly to cloud computing projects. Despite this shift of attention and the associated growth opportunity, there are major roadblocks – for the most part, they are not technology related and fall within the domain of people, process, policy and organizational issues, which are more complex for vendors to address," said Peter ffoulkes, research director for cloud computing at TheInfoPro.
Fortunately, raising awareness of the cloud and developing training programs can alleviate numerous non-technical issues companies are encountering when deploying cloud projects. Experts often state that the cloud is the future of the enterprise, as everything from business phone systems to storage environments will migrate to the hosted landscape. For this reason, organizations must overcome issues that derive from having the wrong attitude about the technology.
By taking the time to understand the evolving IT landscape, enterprises may be able to improve their odds of successfully implementing one of the most disruptive and important IT forces in recent years: the cloud. If firms take an ad-hoc approach to the hosted services, they will find themselves playing catch up with the rest of their respective industry.