Cloud computing comes of age in large enterprises

16 Dec 2010

Cloud computing is coming of age in large enterprises, according to a survey by CA Technologies, with 92pc of the largest enterprises having at least one cloud service.

A new study of North American and European IT professionals has been conducted by Management Insight on behalf of CA Technologies.

The group surveyed IT professionals in organisations with 1,000 to more than 10,000 employees, revealing that enterprises are active in the cloud, and their virtualisation efforts are contributing to broader interest in cloud computing.

The results also indicate a shift toward approaching IT using “cloud thinking,” accelerating the uses of cloud computing and helping to align IT decision makers and implementers around common goals of efficiency, flexibility and scalability.

More than 80pc of enterprises and 92pc of the largest enterprises have at least one cloud service; 53pc of IT implementers indicate having more than six cloud services.

The primary incentives for organisations exploring the cloud are to save money (44pc) and gain greater cost control (35pc). IT staff are motivated by increasing efficiency (35pc) and a desire to work with the latest technologies (34pc).

Security and control remain perceived barriers to the cloud. Executives are primarily concerned about security (68pc) and poor service quality (40pc), while roughly half of all respondents consider risk of job loss and loss of control as top deterrents.

Virtualisation maturity leads to more optimistic attitudes toward cloud: Virtualisation-intensive organisations are four times more likely to move as many services as possible to both public and private clouds.

Attitudes toward public and private clouds align. Respondents cite cost savings, resource efficiencies, flexibility and servicing global users as drivers for public clouds; similarly, cost, scalability, flexibility and manageability are drivers for private clouds. Security is noted as both a driver and deterrent for public and private clouds.

Cloud thinking

Collaboration tools lead cloud deployments at 75pc, with hosted email, anti-virus/spam filters and web conferencing noted as the most common applications being deployed in the cloud by large enterprises.

Infrastructure and development platforms in the cloud (infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service) appear to be poised for growth, with 58pc of large organisations already using these services, and 43pc considering them. Such use and consideration sets up infrastructure clouds as the next wave of cloud adoption.

“This study confirms that large enterprises are exploring the benefits of the cloud, and are looking to expand from basic services like collaboration to more complex infrastructure and platform cloud services,” said Adam Famularo, general manager, cloud computing business, CA Technologies.

“It validates a trend we predicted, that IT executives are rapidly becoming orchestrators of an IT supply chain made up of internal and external services. With this shift comes a growing need for sophisticated management and security, allowing enterprises to change how they think about IT to reap the full rewards that cloud computing offers – agility, efficiency and scalability,” Famularo said.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years