Survey: What the Enterprise Cloud Needs to Become Business-Critical

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Security Matters
  3. Cloud Complexities Remain
  4. Location, Location, Location
  5. Private Cloud or No Cloud At All
  6. Different Pipes for Different Purposes
  7. Key Takeaways
  8. Methodology
  9. About Paul Miller

1. Summary

Among those widely adopting cloud computing today are startups without existing infrastructure investment and small teams or individuals within larger organizations. There is also growing enthusiasm for both public and private clouds as a formal component of the enterprise IT strategy, sitting alongside existing data center investment.

At least initially, enterprise adopters tended to use the cloud for non-critical workloads. Typical uses include (but are not limited to):

  • Proof of concept
  • Development and test environments
  • Temporary workspaces
  • Short data processing jobs focused on non-sensitive data
  • To satisfy seasonal workload spikes

Many organizations are now progressing beyond these workloads, putting cloud computing to work in support of business-critical applications and workloads. Gigaom Research surveyed over 300 IT decision makers from companies with at least 1,000 employees, to understand enterprises’ shifting attitudes to the cloud as a viable piece of their business-critical infrastructure.

Key findings from this report include:

  • Security remained the principal consideration. Sixty-five percent agreed that the security of network connections to their cloud-based applications was a cause for concern. A variety of methods get employed to mitigate this risk, from requiring employees to connect from company devices or over virtual private networks (VPNs) to deploying private networks between data centers that bypass the public internet altogether. Respondents tend not to favor a single approach, and use a range of technical and organizational procedures in an effort to balance cost and complexity with organizational requirements for security or regulatory compliance.
  • Sixty-six percent of respondents consider one or more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications to be business-critical today, and a significant number also support critical workloads with public Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) compute and storage offerings.
  • Future growth expectations in these areas is low over the next two years, and survey respondents identify a number of pressing technical and legal hurdles standing in the way of further adoption in support of critical workloads. These include concerns around data security, regulatory issues, the quality of network connectivity, and the cost of moving off existing hardware investments.
  • These barriers are not expected to diminish in the near term, and there is some concern that they remain significant for five years or more.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Bim/iStock.

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