As adoption and usage of cloud computing continues to mature, IT organizations are showing a clear preference for private clouds. It's less clear exactly where those private clouds are running, though.
A survey of 3,643 IT professionals conducted by International Data Corp. (IDC) on behalf of Cisco finds that 44 percent are either using or planning to use a private cloud. The challenge that many of those IT organizations face is that given the complexities associated with building a private cloud, the majority of those private clouds are most likely going to be invoked as a service.
Despite all the hype, there is nothing simple about building or maintaining a cloud. In fact, for most IT organizations building a true private cloud is still outside the realm of their technical capabilities. As a result, it’s simpler for most of them to invoke some form of private cloud computing as a service than it is for them to build a private cloud on premise.
Naturally, this may not be the case forever. Technologies associated with software-defined data center (SDDCs) will eventually evolve to the point where the average IT organization can more easily build a private cloud.
Leaning on hybrid clouds
In general, however, the IDC study makes it clear that the shift to the cloud is still largely being made as circumstances dictate. One fourth of the IT executives surveyed said their organization has repeatable processes in place for deploying workloads in the cloud. Nearly half (44 percent) described their cloud strategy as opportunistic, and 32 percent admitted they have no formal strategy at all.
A full 64 percent, however, claim to be using some form of hybrid cloud computing, with 50 percent saying they are using some mix of public, private, and traditional IT resources in that context. At the same time, 70 percent said they expect to be able to migrate workloads from their data center into the cloud hosting environments, and 64 percent said they expect the internal IT organization to evolve into being a broker of those services.
Uncovering opportunity for IT service providers
The study didn’t specifically identify how those goals would be achieved, but it did note that 83 percent of the respondents said it’s important to work with their incumbent IT providers to carry workloads into the cloud. That would suggest that the IT services providers that have existing relationships with IT organizations have the inside track — at least when it comes to moving existing application workloads in the cloud.
While progress is being made, the study makes it clear most organizations are somewhere between the end of phase one adoption of the cloud, which is usually focused on public clouds, and a second phase that makes broader usage of multiple forms of private clouds.
The rate at which organizations will make the shift to next phase of cloud computing will vary substantially, depending on the amount of internal cloud expertise the internal IT department possesses. But one thing that is certain is that the vast majority of those organizations will be looking for additional external help the more twisted the journey to the cloud continues to become.
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