Survey: benchmarking cloud expectations, 2014

1Executive Summary

Demand for cloud computing continued to ramp up in 2013, with enterprise after enterprise committing to a rapid and vigorous redeployment of resources toward cloud-based solutions. Surveys of both mainstream and leading-edge users in the second quarter of 2014 suggest that another wave of investment in cloud technology is planned for the next 12 to 24 months.

In this analysis of the survey findings we look at key drivers and inhibitors for cloud adoption, as well as workload migration patterns. Tech buyers surveyed reported the following:

  • Cost is the top driver identified by both mainstream and leading-edge users — 50 percent and 56 percent respectively. Scalability and then business agility are most often cited as the second and third drivers.
  • Security and privacy are the top two inhibitors to change for both groups, with security the runaway number one issue for mainstream users (63 percent). But while reliability is the third-most frequently named inhibitor to cloud adoption for the mainstream users, lock-in and reliability when combined are relatively larger concerns among the leading-edge enterprises — that is, those who likely have already found cloud reliability to be good but lock-in to be an issue.
  • Both groups said they were aggressively moving their web presence to the cloud, with other IT workloads like communications, disaster recovery, and IT services rounding out the top four.
  • On an application level, business analytics, sales and marketing, and other back-office functions are the top three priorities for both survey groups. Far more (50 percent) of the leading-edge users said they were migrating sales and marketing functions.
  • Over one third of leading-edge users (42 percent) said they were using the cloud for new business and/or to run the company (35 percent). Meanwhile, nearly half of the mainstream is focused on migrating IT functions that don’t produce revenue, and 39 percent are prototyping back office apps. However, 34 percent of the mainstream is also prototyping revenue-generating apps in the cloud.

We believe the newer and more tech-oriented firms in the leading-edge group are a bellwether for more mainstream enterprises, which will tend to follow similar priorities as they gain experience with cloud solutions. Technology decision-makers inside and outside of IT departments can compare their own company’s practices with those surveyed, and benchmark themselves against mainstream and leading-edge users.

Relevant Analyst
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Laura Stuart

Analyst Independent Industry Research

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