Businesses around the world are leveraging various cloud computing technologies to either get ahead of or keep up with their competitors. Doing so is especially important in today’s otherwise unpredictable economy, which is encouraging decision-makers to improve their internal operations without driving expenses through the roof.
Investing in the cloud is one of the best ways for organizations to take advantage of these opportunities, and the majority of enterprises are doing just that. Yet, not all firms feel the same way toward every available cloud model. This finding was highlighted in a recent Vanson Bourne study of 400 US and UK businesses, which found that a large portion of firms are adopting both public and private cloud services. In fact, roughly 60 percent of respondents said a combination of the two technologies will likely be the culmination of their cloud computing initiatives.
Experts said that many organizations started out with a public-only cloud mentality because the scalability and cost-saving capabilities of the multi-tenant model were highly influential. After some time, however, some decision-makers began to recognize that incorporating a private cloud infrastructure into their public cloud strategies would introduce even greater benefits.
“They may have started with a public cloud-only architecture but have come to realize the limitations of this approach as they’ve continued on their cloud journey,” cloud expert John Engates asserted.
Why converge the cloud?
The survey revealed that the need to improve security is often one of the main reasons for implementing private cloud offerings on top of public services. Although the cloud may be inherently more secure than traditional IT environments, the multi-tenant nature of public offerings sometimes makes it more difficult for decision-makers to exercise control over their infrastructure. The private cloud, on the other hand, is by definition easier to manage and safeguard.
Additionally, the survey found that companies are combining their cloud implementations to boost overall performance. Because cloud computing technologies can improve disaster recovery and continuity efforts when they are implemented properly, executives are looking to reduce the costs and efforts needed to keep operations running at full strength at all times.
“There’s no excuse for downtime. None. Especially now that the world has gone social and digital life is lived at an always-on, real-time pace,” said Matt McClure, vice president and chief architect at MapMyFitness.
A separate GigaOM Research study of more than 850 business employees and managers found that cloud use in enterprises continues to rise in 2013, and roughly 75 percent of respondents said they are using at least some type of cloud platform. In fact, the cloud market is forecast to approach $159 billion in revenue by the end of 2014, which will represent a growth of more than 126 percent from 2011.
“Clearly, even in the third year of our survey, we’re still very early in the cloud computing revolution,” said Michael Skok, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners. “Yet the cloud formations we identified in last year’s survey are clearly on an unstoppable rise.”
As the cloud market continues to expand in the coming years, enterprise decision-makers need to assess whether implementing a public, private, or “hybrid” combination cloud infrastructure will be the most advantageous model and deliver the greatest benefits. Because every organization is different, executives need to evaluate their internal operations, budget limitations and expectations, and weigh these variables with differing cloud computing initiatives to determine which method will be the most beneficial in the long run.