Slowly, but steadily, enterprises are warming up to Cloud technologies. No, they are not queuing outside the Amazon headquarters waiting to order public cloud infrastructure, like the Amazon’s EC2 offerings, yet. But, the idea of private clouds and the advantages of tapping the public clouds for non mission critical operations like testing are slowly making the enterprise community comfortable with Cloud Computing. In fact, a recent Gartner survey predicts that by 2012, 80 percent of Fortune 1000 enterprises will be paying for some cloud computing services and 30 percent will be paying for cloud computing infrastructure services.
If enterprises are recognizing the advantages of the Cloud, why aren’t we seeing a widespread Cloud adoption? Who is the biggest culprit in putting road blocks to such an adoption? These are some of the interesting questions puzzling the minds of Cloud evangelists and analysts. A recent survey of delegates (IT execs) by Platform Computing, the leader in grid and cloud computing software that dynamically connects IT resources to workload demand according to business policies, at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC’09) in June 2009 offers some clues on this topic. According to the survey, 28% of IT executives surveyed are planning to deploy private cloud in 2009. The most interesting part of the survey is the positive attitude of IT execs towards Cloud based technologies.
The survey also cited that IT executives are positive about the benefits of the technology, with most (41%) citing ‘improving efficiency’ as the biggest motivation for establishing a private cloud. This was followed by ‘resource scalability’ (18%), ‘cutting costs; (17%), ‘experimenting with cloud computing’ (15%) and ‘improving IT responsiveness’ (9%).
The majority (67%) said they are planning to run simulation and modelling applications on cloud, highlighting the need for greater power for compute intensive tasks. When asked what other applications they were planning to run using cloud, 32% said web services, while 18% said business analytics.
If IT execs are comfortable with the Cloud Computing, then, why aren’t we seeing a big jump in enterprise cloud adoption. The answer to this question is also available in the same survey. The main obstacles to the widespread cloud adoption are the business decision makers and their ignorance about cloud based technologies.
according to the survey findings, 76% of IT executives admit they do not feel that business decision makers understand the potential of private clouds. Also, according to respondents, over one third (37%) felt organizational culture was the biggest barrier to establishing a private cloud. The survey demonstrates that while IT executives recognize the benefits that private clouds can deliver over the traditional approach to IT, and want to deploy quickly, some decision-makers still need convincing.
This clearly offers a clue to the question in the minds of evangelists and analysts. The evangelists have their tasks cut out. Target the business leaders and make them understand the value addition to their business from the cloud technologies. Make them comfortable with the new technology and educate them on any misconceptions they might have. Once they are convinced about it, IT will embrace the idea of private clouds immediately.