By 2018, cloud usage is expected to grow and account for over a quarter (28%) of corporate ICT budgets. With the vast majority (80%) of respondents expecting the number of individual cloud platforms in use in their organisations to grow over the next three years.
However, respondents to the NTT Communications Cloud Reality Check 2015 report in the UK indicated that their budgets allocated to cloud will grow by just nine percent over the next 3 years, from 18% to 27%.
In spite of this growing commitment to the cloud, more than one in five respondents admit to having no timelines for migrating their most important corporate data centre applications to the cloud. Furthermore, around 2 in 5 respondents (38%) believe that cloud is falling short of its potential. With a similar proportion (41%) agreeing that they find managing cloud vendors confusing.
The conclusions reached by NTT from the report is that organisations require a new approach to ICT transformation through cloud computing citing the complications involved due to the variety of platforms available and the complexity of the applications they support alongside a paucity of clear answers over which kinds of applications are best suited to which environments.
The report also found a lack of clear answers adds to the challenges ICT decision-makers face. Around two thirds of applications are hosted in ‘protected and closed’ environments such as the corporate data centre, colocation facilities, managed hosting, or private infrastructure as a service (IaaS), while Public IaaS, software as a service (SaaS) account for a further quarter of applications. Less than 10 percent of respondents say they are using Platform as a Service (PaaS) for any kind of application (see chart below).
The proliferation of ICT platforms is also undermining ICT decision-makers’ moves to embrace bi-modal IT, diverting resources towards application development and away from management tasks. While marginally more respondents agree they spend more time developing functionality for applications hosted in the cloud than they do for those in the data centre, far higher numbers are spending more time on management across both environments (55% for data centre applications, and 44% for those in the cloud).
Commenting on the findings Len Padilla, VP Product Strategy at NTT Com, said: “Our study shows the reality of cloud in 2015 is potentially as complex as the world it was supposed to replace. ICT decision-makers harbour significant frustrations over cloud, and there are no clear answers over which kinds of applications belong where. This is the cloud reality check in 2015 – there needs to be a far smoother migration path from the data centre to the cloud. A different kind of planning approach is required for companies to achieve the large-scale digital transformations business executives are demanding.”
The report is not all bad as respondents do recognise cloud could be good for their business. Half of respondents credit their most important cloud-based applications with the ability to scale in line with demand. Similar proportions recognise the cloud’s ability to achieve cost efficiencies, in terms of reduced CAPEX (highlighted by 47%) and OPEX (highlighted by 45%).
Padilla continues: “ICT decision-makers see the cloud as a compelling enabling technology for digital transformation – there’s no better way to take a new app from the sandbox to global production quickly. However, our study suggests focusing on ambitious plans is not the best approach. Focusing on continuous improvement and incremental steps is a far more effective strategy. We hope our findings will help ICT decision-makers formulate strategies for adopting real-world cloud solutions that work for their businesses.”