On the sidelines of Dreamforce, I had a chance to talk to two people who have their hands dirty in the enterprise IT. During our conversation, one of them mentioned to me that he wouldn’t be surprised if an analyst firm comes out and says that all the enterprises are active in cloud computing in one form or another. I was a bit taken aback on that statement because I am also talking to people in some large enterprises and even though they are pretty excited by what cloud can offer to them, they are also equally apprehensive about losing control and about security issues. Well, I didn’t hear anything from analyst firms yet on the subject but a CA Technologies sponsored survey predicts something along these lines. As it is always the case with vendor sponsored studies, I take this survey with a pinch (well, actually bagful) of salt but I also feel that it is an indicative of a trend in the enterprises.
The survey was conducted with North American and European IT professionals in organizations with 1,000 to 10,000-plus employees. Some of the results from the survey include:
- More than 80 percent of enterprises and 92 percent of the largest enterprises have at least one cloud service; 53 percent of IT implementers indicate having more than six cloud services
- The primary incentives for organizations exploring the cloud are to save money (44 percent) and gain greater cost control (35 percent). IT staff are incented by increasing efficiency (35 percent) and a desire to work with the latest technologies (34 percent)
- Security and control remain perceived barriers to the cloud. Executives are primarily concerned about security (68 percent) and poor service quality (40 percent), while roughly half of all respondents consider risk of job loss and loss of control as top deterrents
- Virtualization-intensive organizations are four times more likely to move as many services as possible to both public and private clouds
- Respondents cite cost savings, resource efficiencies, flexibility and servicing global users as drivers for public clouds; similarly, cost, scalability, flexibility and manageability are drivers for private clouds. Security is noted as both a driver and deterrent for public and private clouds
Regular readers of the blog know that I am not one of those public cloud evangelists who strongly believe that public clouds are the miracle pill to enterprises’ IT problems. I am more pragmatic even though I still believe in a future dominated by public cloud services. I also understand that it is a vendor sponsored survey and the numbers could be skewed to fit their strategy. In spite of this, I also feel that it is indicative of a trend that is brewing in large enterprises. I have spoken to few people in the IT management in big enterprises. They are a minuscule sample size to gain any insight but most of them told me that they are exploring cloud computing to see how it fits into their strategy. Some even said that they have already implemented one or more cloud services. The survey may not go anywhere to give the real story but it definitely throws another roadblock to the FUD unleashed by people in the traditional IT industry and those who benefit from traditional IT in one way or another. If you are really curious about the report, you can get it here.