As the need for flexible, agile, and efficient infrastructure tops business priorities, company executives are looking to the cloud for solutions. In the past, the majority of IT architecture and mission-critical applications were maintained within in-house data centers. That isn’t the situation that exists today, however, because roughly 69 percent of organizations are planning to migrate crucial systems to the cloud by the end of 2014.
This was among the key findings in a new Virtustream survey, which also revealed that senior-level decision-makers are accepting this new cloud trend. In fact, the majority of executives now understand that implementing the cloud and migrating crucial infrastructure resources to the hosted environment delivers numerous benefits, and more than half of respondents said the cloud enables them to strengthen business agility.
Although speed and functionality were cited as the most common advantages that come with the use of cloud environments, 42 percent of decision-makers also said the solutions give them a competitive advantage, while another 40 percent stated that the technology allows employees to be more productive.
“The end of 2014 will be a pivotal moment for the enterprise cloud,” Virtustream executive Simon Aspinall said. “ERP and other mission-critical applications have mainly been deployed conventionally–the cuckoos in cloud land. The next 18 months will see these critical applications pushed out of their in-house data center nests and migrated to the cloud.”
Although some still harbor a few lingering doubts about migrating to the cloud, most decision-makers are taking these concerns with a grain of salt and taking the plunge anyway. In fact, nearly 90 percent of decision-makers said they were aware of why they should migrate applications to the cloud.
The need for agility
The Virtustream study revealed findings similar to other cloud studies, noting that decision-makers are often persuaded by the numerous benefits to adopt cloud computing technologies although they are primarily driven by the ability to become more agile to the shifting IT landscape. Specifically, the survey found that 64 percent of businesses claimed that boosting agility is the top driver for implementing the cloud.
Today’s fast-paced business world has given companies numerous reasons to become more agile, especially as mobile and social computing technologies emerge. Perhaps more important, firms are collecting more information than ever before and are forced to adapt quickly if they want to stay competitive during the age of Big Data.
A separate Cisco study found that approximately 60 percent of companies around the world believe successfully embracing Big Data initiatives will improve their decision-making process, although only slightly more than one-fourth of firms are actually generating value from the endeavors. This finding is largely due to the fact that organizations are not accustomed to managing, storing, and handling such vast quantities of information. Meanwhile, the constantly shifting state of analytics is worrying even more executives who are not entirely familiar with the advanced business intelligence scene.
Cisco noted that most companies believe the cloud landscape will affect the benefits of Big Data efforts primarily because the cloud is more scalable and flexible than traditional internal architectures. As a result, organizations using the cloud can leverage critical applications more efficiently and make better use of the Big Data technologies.
The rapidly evolving business and IT landscapes will continue to pressure organizations to transform as quickly as possible. By leveraging a cloud infrastructure, large enterprises and small firms will have an equal opportunity to embrace next-generation trends without introducing too many complexities that hinder performance and their ability to compete.