Transitioning to the cloud is a process that many organizations have been pondering for some time, with some taking the leap early while many late adopters are still weighing their options. As the sun sets on 2014, the new horizon of 2015 heralds new promise, prompting the question: is this finally the year in which on-premises IT infrastructures move to the cloud en masse?
The answer, of course, depends on who you ask, with legacy service providers offering the most resistance to transition. Eventually, however, more and more organizations will find themselves migrating some, if not all, of their IT operations to the cloud in order to be nimble, scale at will, adapt to an ever changing ecosystem, and more importantly, stay afloat.
Granted, no one can predict the future, but cloud computing is here to stay. That is, at least, according to the fourth annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey conducted by North Bridge Venture Partners, in conjunction with Gigaom Research and 72 collaborating organizations. According to the former, the trend in 2015 is for increased adoption of cloud technology.
This survey, considered the largest research program tracking the key trends, drivers, and inhibitors of cloud adoption, concluded that 49 percent of respondents are currently using cloud technology to drive revenue or prototype products. Cloud is no longer being used merely to save on IT infrastructure costs; rather, in order for organizations to remain relevant, cloud is absolutely essential. According to Mike Schutz, General Manager of Cloud Platform Marketing at Microsoft, “Businesses are no longer thinking ‘why cloud?’ but will focus the next 12-24 months figuring out ‘how do I execute long-term cloud strategy?’”
So what will continue to drive the growth of cloud adoption in 2015 and beyond? While SaaS, IaaS and PaaS will give organization more options, it is the growth of big operational and customer data that will be critical to businesses. In order to effectively use the massive amount of information being generated daily and gain actionable insight in near-or real-time, cloud as a technology being applied to big data applications, storage and computing resources, has to be part of the eco-system.
The survey indicated that roughly 66 percent of data today is in the cloud and this figure is expected to grow to 73 percent in the next two years. Given that 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the past two years and 80 percent of that data is unstructured, the role that data will play in how enterprises function cannot be underestimated.
The growth of cloud technology was also highlighted at the 33rd Annual Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference, which was held in early December 2014. The hottest topics covered in the conference were issues that are driven by cloud technology, including data center infrastructure management, emerging storage architectures and vendors, hybrid cloud computing, business value dashboards, and BYOD effects on networks.
The future for cloud does indeed look bright, but security is still a big inhibitor with 49 percent of survey respondents still concerned about their data in the cloud. 31 percent are worried about their privacy, an issue that affects U.S. companies disproportionately because of the Edward Snowden incident.
Despite these inhibitors, a future that portends increasing adoption of virtual desktop platforms, mobile first integration, global infrastructure and operations, 24/7 availability, and billions of connected devices as part of the IoT will require the cloud, making 2015 the year in which on-premises IT and newly established organizations choose the cloud over legacy systems.