The one thing that just about every IT professional can agree on is that some form of cloud computing is now a standard enterprise platform. For the most part, though, it appears that the majority of that usage is decidedly private.
A new global survey of 1,000 senior IT executives at organizations with 500 or more employees conducted by Tata Communications, a global provider of IT services, finds that 28 percent of compute and data storage is in the cloud at the moment, and it is predicted to rise to 43 percent within five years and 58 percent in 10 years. But as IT organizations become more familiar with cloud computing, 57 percent report having migrated data back in-house from the cloud, primarily due to security and data protection concerns.
The value of hybrid cloud computing
That doesn’t necessarily rule out usage of public clouds in the future. In fact, 94 percent say their organization would be likely to use hybrid cloud if the connections within the publicly-used Internet structure could be made more predictable. It does suggest that private clouds running in a local data center or hosted in a third-party facility will wind up being the dominant form of cloud computing, though.
The more surprising result might be how many of these executives say that cloud computing has lived up to all the hype surrounding it. A full 85 percent say that cloud computing has lived up to the hype, with 23 percent even going so far as to say that the hype has been exceeded.
As result, not only do 97 percent of respondents say their organization has adopted it to some extent, but 84 percent of those respondents say that cloud computing is already critical or very important to their organization. Obviously, IT organizations are starting to value the lower costs that cloud computing offers, as well as the agility cloud computing provides internal IT staffs and the organizations they serve. Patience with internal IT organizations has been running low for years, so for many IT executives cloud computing represents an opportunity to mute many critics both inside and outside the organization.
The debate over private versus public cloud
The debate that continues to rage is whether private clouds will permanently supersede public ones or if this is merely a moment in time before an eventual transition to more efficient public clouds. It’s too early to say just yet, but security perception and compliance concerns clearly favor private clouds, especially when data sovereignty issues require organizations to retain local control over data no matter how inexpensive it might be to store it elsewhere.
All this adoption and enthusiasm starts to beg the question, is cloud computing about to dissipate into the enterprise? While there are many forms of cloud computing, as a style of IT it’s clear that cloud computing has hit mainstream adoption. In much the same way that client/server fell away as a term used to describe a style of IT, so too might the term cloud computing get pushed aside as the approach becomes standard.
What’s your take? Will private clouds overshadow public ones? And if they do, when might cloud computing just revert back to being plain old enterprise IT? Or is the whole thing simply overblown hype?