Enterprise cloud adoption continues to grow, with a recent Harvard Business Review study saying that 70 percent of enterprises have already adopted cloud in one way or another. And cloud is delivering more than just cost savings. Enterprises say cloud provides a competitive advantage and improves operational efficiencies and cite these as more important decision factors for cloud than short term IT savings.
The next stage in enterprise adoption of cloud will involve a move within the core of the business. Look for enterprises to put heavier, mission-critical workloads in the cloud as part of a larger strategy to create a more agile, flexible and secure IT infrastructure. As enterprises do this we will see increased discussion and movement around topics like software-defined everything, big data analytics and private clouds. While these aren’t new terms they will take on new relevance as we move through the rest of this year and into 2015.
Software-Defined Everything. We are already seeing companies like Oracle, NetApp and Hitachi Data Systems expand their offerings into software-based services built to run on cloud infrastructure. These software appliances will continue to grow as traditional IT and cloud services work together to meet enterprise demands for global deployments, rapid scalability and a pay-as-you-go model. Look for an expanding ecosystem of enterprise-class IT services to grow around the cloud and support the migration of business-critical applications and workloads.
Big Data Analytics. Enterprises understand the power of analytics, including the ability to take information from all aspects of a business and global environments, mine the data and change business outcomes. Most have already made significant investments in analytics and those investments will continue. Cloud provides a natural platform for gathering, analyzing and sharing big data. The elasticity of cloud technologies handles nearly unlimited data sets, provides compute power on-demand to analyze data quickly and cost effectively and supports seamless sharing of data – magnifying the impact for enterprises, their partners and customers. Cloud-based big data analytics will be a major focus in the industry going forward.
Private Clouds. Enterprises will continue to use public cloud infrastructure for development and testing and non-critical workloads; but when they get ready to put core business functions and data in the cloud, enterprises will invest in private clouds. Some of these clouds will be built, owned and operated in the enterprise’s data center; however, many will be managed by a cloud provider from a third-party data center. The idea is to create a secure, reliable, robust cloud environment and enterprise-grade services that will drive business transformation.
Although enterprises have embraced cloud, now they are ready to go all in and make strategic investments in cloud services that will improve their business and help them compete. In doing this enterprises will look to software-enabled technology services, big data analytics and private clouds to lead the way.