The Growth of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Growth Set to Soar

It seems like we have been talking about the transformational power of cloud computing forever, especially about how the cloud is cheaper, provides more speed to value, and is more agile than traditional on-premises systems. Despite all of this talk about the transformation cloud computing has brought to enterprise IT, a recent study shows just how much more potential remains on the table for the taking.

According to the recent Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) report, 2017 Public Cloud Trends, public cloud adoption continues to soar. In his post announcing the report, analyst Dan Conde writes that more than one-third of the respondents currently have what former federal CIO Vivek Kundra referred to as a “cloud-first policy”. This policy, first described by Kundra in 2010 in his 25 point plan to reform the federal government’s IT operations, called for federal agencies to procure new apps and services from cloud providers, unless there was a compelling reason made to use on-premises systems. According to ESG, these policies are increasingly popular in newer companies as well.

Additionally, the ESG survey found that the SaaS model continues its torrid growth with 62 percent of respondents stating that 20 percent of their apps are currently SaaS applications. That’s a sizable bump from 38 percent who said the same in 2013. When it comes to platforms as a service and public cloud infrastructure, it’s clear that there still remains room for tremendous growth. “The most popular use cases for IaaS or PaaS are to serve as a repository for backup and archive data, running production apps, and serving as a disaster recovery target, followed by test and dev,” Conde wrote.

This is changing quickly, I’m finding, as I speak with CIOs and CISOs from different industries and various sized enterprises: more and more business critical and regulated information and applications are heading to the cloud. Their concerns around making this move are what they have always been when it comes to any type of cloud deployment: regulatory compliance and security.

And as we covered in Despite Security Fears, Digital Transformation, Cloud Journey Continues, serious concerns exist when it comes to moving to the cloud. According to an IDC survey in that post, 88 percent of respondents cited data security in the cloud as a top priority for competitiveness, while only 32 percent cite significant progress having been made in cloud security. As I wrote then, that leaves well more than half of organizations with a security chasm that they must close if they are to get to where they believe they need to be.

The good news is the toolsets necessary to bring the needed amount of transparency, monitoring, and security controls to bear, including greater degrees of automation, to public cloud are finally available.

What does all of this point to? Plenty more runway for enterprise cloud growth. While it feels like cloud has already transformed IT, and to a large degree it certainly has, it is just getting moving and finally hitting real takeoff velocity. Consider the findings from the seventh annual Data Center Industry Survey from the Uptime Institute.

This survey found that 65 percent of assets are currently deployed in enterprise-owned data centers, and 22 percent on co-location of multi-tenant data centers, while only 13 percent are in a cloud computing environment.

I expect these numbers to change quickly as cloud continues to win increasingly more workload from traditional systems. A sizable 67 percent of Uptime Institute respondents report that workloads that would previously have resided in their own data centers are heading to the cloud.

Interestingly, the largest organizations surveyed are 10 percent more likely to deploy to the cloud than the smallest IT groups. And this rate of cloud adoption and migration is likely to not just continue, but accelerate, as people become more comfortable with the cloud through increases in transparency, and better toolsets used to manage the security their environments.

About George Hulme

George V. Hulme is an internationally recognized information security and business technology writer. For more than 20 years Hulme has written about business, technology, and IT security topics. For five years, Hulme served as senior editor at InformationWeek magazine, he covered the IT security and homeland security beats. His work has appeared in CSOOnline, ComputerWorld, Network Computing, Government Computer News, Network World, San Francisco Examiner, TechWeb, VARBusiness, and dozens of other technology publications.

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