Cloud spending still small

Although the use of cloud services is growing faster than the overall enterprise IT market, it is still a small part of overall IT spending, a survey said.
According to Gartner, which conducted the survey, only 38% of all organizations surveyed indicate cloud services use today. However, 80% of organizations said that they intend to use cloud services in some form within 12 months, including 55% of the organizations not doing so today.

Gartner conducted a survey of 651 organizations across nine countries to understand end-user organizations' use of external service providers for IT services. The objective was to better understand how organizations are shifting from the use of traditional technology products to new technology delivered as cloud services.
"Given that the use of cloud services currently constitutes only a very small part of the vast enterprise IT market, strategic planners should not make the mistake of taking current cloud use cases to be predictors of future cloud use," said Gregor Petri, research director at Gartner. "Cloud computing is set to have a considerable impact on business in the future which is reflected in the survey finding that around 60 % of organizations plan increased investment over the next two years to five years, while only 6 % plan to decrease investments in cloud services."

Petri said three key factors that will significantly impact enterprise cloud use in the near to midterm future. The first of these is the fact that the road to increased cloud usage will be through tactical business solutions addressing specific problems, not through broad, strategic infrastructure replacements.

A second factor that Gartner said will influence cloud uptake is the reality that the business impact of cloud services increases as they continue to move up the cloud services value chain, from infrastructure services to business process services.

The final factor impacting enterprise cloud use is that the introduction of cloud solutions will lead to a more diverse solution portfolio with widely varying implementation and migration timelines. Individual applications can be rehosted to run on IaaS, recoded or recompiled to run on PaaS, replaced with corresponding SaaS applications or the business process can be resourced altogether.

The life cycle of these cloud services can vary from months to decades with implementation timelines being impacted by several factors including the availability of alternatives, the degree of business criticality, and the complexity of the workloads.

The market potential of the use case is also an important factor. In some cases, highly critical and complex applications may actually be the first to be moved to cloud computing, especially if those applications are broadly used and thus form an attractive provider opportunity. This wide variety of timelines and approaches leads to a complex reality, with many different resource requirements, benefits profiles and potential outcomes, all needing to be individually planned, managed and monitored. This, in turn, makes cloud computing a quickly developing field with many unknowns and uncertainties and little shortcuts of silver bullets.