Cloud Report: Business & Central IT Engage in Legendary Smackdown

Cloud Devices

Every year, the RightScale State of the Cloud Survey looks at how the cloud industry is developing worldwide. The 2015 edition was released on February 18. We previously reviewed the analysis of Joe McKendrick of Forbes, who commented that tension was growing between IT leadership and business leadership regarding who should control cloud decisions (and this article overlaps in places with that one).

Today we look directly at the survey data, as described by RightScale VP of Marketing Kim Weins.

Weins noted that the survey was particularly centered on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). More than 900 respondents, all of them IT executives, answered questions related to their company’s use of cloud. The margin of error for the survey, which was intended to gauge the general perspective by including employees of small and large firms from various sectors, is just 3%.

Weins described the poll’s findings as follows:

Hybrid Continues to Become the Dominant Model

More and more, companies are moving to multi-cloud systems – 82%, up from 74% last year.  Of that 82%, the types of clouds being built are:

  • 55% hybrid (public + private)
  • 13% public only
  • 14% private only

Popularity Versus Actual Work

General market penetration looks great for cloud service providers (CSP’s) too: 93% of those surveyed said that their company has deployed or will deploy some type of cloud solution.

If the cloud is a popularity contest, public cloud is a big winner. If it is measured in the true amount of work performed, private is now in the lead. Use among respondents is as follows:

  • Public cloud – 88%
  • Private cloud – 63%
  • Both types – 58%

While public is popular, private performs more workloads. Number of individuals polled who said their company has more than 1000 virtual machines (VM’s) in the two types of clouds are:

  • 13% public
  • 22% private

Weins seemed skeptical about those figures, though: “The private cloud lead in workloads may represent existing virtualized environments that have been enhanced and relabeled as a private cloud.”

Although private is ostensibly leading in terms of workloads, businesses are developing their public infrastructures. By early 2016, the proportion of respondents who think that their company will have more than 1000 public machines is more than twice the current figure: 27%. In other words, by 12 months from now, we may see firms balancing the work more evenly between public and private environments.

Room for Expansion

Use of the cloud is skyrocketing, but the transition from legacy systems will take time. More than two-thirds of companies (68%) use cloud to perform under 20% of their loads. In more than half of cases (55%), though, enterprises said that an additional 20% of their apps were cloud-ready.

Central IT to Serve as Broker

Early adopters of public cloud were typically tech SMB’s and development-focused divisions of large companies. Now, as firms have developed a better understanding of cloud, central IT is maneuvering to have stricter control over how cloud is used. Three in five (62%) of those polled said that central IT was in charge of most cloud buying.

The 2014 State of the Cloud exhibited that business executives and central IT personnel disagreed over the extent to which central IT should filter choices. Although the business and central IT teams have on their professional wrestling outfits and are ready for a legendary smackdown, two in five (40%) business executives said it would make sense for central IT to broker cloud; that’s over twice the 18% of business leaders who said that was reasonable last year.

DevOps Ascending

DevOps has thrived in the cloud since the technology started become more prominent in 2006. “For many companies,” Weins summarized, “the use of cloud infrastructure is a critical pillar to support the continuous integration and delivery cycles and release cycles that DevOps helps to drive.”

This year’s report demonstrated that cloud is increasingly being used for DevOps: 66% of enterprises are now using it for that purpose, versus 62% last year.

Private Cloud Not Quite as Hot

Private cloud appears to be relatively static versus last year, although very slight increases were reflected.

VMware is still the top dog in this arena: 33% of executives said their private cloud was built on vSphere, while another 13% said they used vCloud Director as their foundation. OpenStack is also a top competitor, with 13% of organizations actively using it and another 30% considering it. The first release of Azure Pack allowed Microsoft to secure the private clouds of 7% of companies.

Takeaway: Central IT Brokers Cloud as it Becomes More Prominent

This year’s State of the Cloud reveals that more companies are testing and deploying cloud environments, with the majority of businesses using more than one provider in a hybrid blend of public and private machines. In that climate, central IT is making itself available to suggest ideal solutions and simultaneously keep the infrastructure as cost-effective as possible. “This shift of cloud adoption from shadow IT to a strategic imperative,” Weins concluded, “is a critical step in the move to a cloud-centric future.”

Part of the reason central IT is taking command is that companies are realizing not every cloud is built the same. “I love the support!” our client Louis Gualtieri, Jr., said of us. Learn more now.

By Kent Roberts