Survey: enterprise development in the cloud

1 Summary

The cloud continues to gain momentum in a wide range of companies, from small startups to big online consumer services. Despite this, large enterprises have been much slower to adopt cloud as a viable platform for running business applications. Security, interoperability, and performance concerns have kept IT leaders from being completely comfortable with the idea of moving their complex business applications to the cloud. And without a seamless application-migration blueprint, moving to the cloud can seem like more of a headache — and risk — than it’s worth.

In December 2013, Gigaom surveyed 408 IT professionals working in software development within enterprise IT organizations. Our survey participants answered 13 questions about how they develop software in the enterprise, as well as about their experiences, perceptions, and concerns about the cloud for enterprise-application development. The cloud in our context includes Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), although the nature of the questions and the related answers are geared more toward the PaaS cloud model.

The responses to this survey show that enterprises that are currently using the cloud are seeing improvements in time to market as well as higher productivity. They show the cloud represents a tremendous opportunity for enterprise IT to create elastic infrastructure that enables business agility so they can remain competitive in a world that increasingly moves at startup speed.

We distilled the survey results down to 10 key findings for customers. The most important include:

  • Waiting is time-consuming and expensive. In enterprise IT, infrastructure provisioning and management is time-consuming and expensive. The average respondent reported 25 percent of a project’s time to market is spent waiting on infrastructure. With the majority of projects being longer than six months, reducing time to market by developing in the cloud could shave weeks off project schedules while also saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Cloud developers wait less. Fifty-three percent of enterprise developers using the cloud report faster time to market and improved productivity. Those cloud users reporting faster time to market are delivering projects three weeks faster than the survey average.
  • Enterprise cloud use is low. Today, only 21 percent of enterprises are developing applications in the cloud. The rate is even lower in conservative, security-sensitive industries such as financial services and health care. Adoption in the remaining 79 percent will require substantial education, especially around areas such as data security, performance, and interoperability.
  • Enterprise developers worry the most about security. Security is the top concern for enterprise developers (62 percent), followed by performance, training and education for cloud skills, and environment costs.
  • Start with dev/test and performance testing. Environment management and performance testing are the biggest delivery impediments where cloud is making a positive difference. These use cases will likely prove helpful for enterprises evaluating the cloud.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Wavebreakmedia Ltd./Thinkstock.