Last Friday, as I was pondering on my current state of health and contemplating which medical coverage should I opt for my company medical insurance plan, it sets me thinking about the “health” of cloud computing as well. Analysts, researchers, marketers have always been trying to access the trending or the pulse of cloud computing. How fast is it being adopted? How do adoption rates differ from industry to industry? Is the mid-market really leading the way? Talk to ten different folks and you will get ten different answers.
In the business context, CIOs are continually also sifting through the perplexing information labyrinth, deciphering the latest pulse in the business world and making strategic choices that will create the maximum business values for their organizations. And how cloud computing can help their organizations to gain that key differentiating advantage.
As we researched more, perceptions that private and public cloud models are giving way to enterprise hybrid cloud get unclouded and palpable.
Public clouds that are lacking in transparent security controls and those that can’t be audited against industry security standards are unlikely to support their customer’s business or IT transformation. This makes public cloud less appropriate for hosting data that is mission critical or subject to stringent compliance and regulatory requirements.
On the other hand, private cloud infrastructures ultimately depend on highly virtualized and highly optimized resources, yet they are finite; the logical boundaries of the internal data center must be somehow extended to meet scalability requirements. And these sometimes, make it unfeasible and unrealistic for business case justification.
A good example is Unified Communication-as-a-Service (UCaaS). Many organizations are now realizing that a pure UCaaS lacks reliability as well as many of the enterprise features that companies rely on are only available with traditional on-premise solutions. Organizations are beginning to adopt Hybrid UCaaS that integrates cloud-based UC functionality with private cloud offering that supports advanced telephony capabilities primarily found in on-premise solutions.
Government is not lagging behind
Apart from the United States which has already embarked on its “Cloud First” strategy since April 2010, other countries too are making significant investments in the cloud in recent years and charting out a path for wide spread adoption across functions. Governments in Asia too are looking at cloud services to bring in efficiencies in their ICT usage. They are looking to enhance their own ICT infrastructure and reduce ICT spending while doing so. They firmly believed that by establishing a cloud computing ecosystem within the country, the government will be able to generate more business opportunities and even create export opportunities for these services. According to a recent Frost & Sullivan study in the Asia Pacific region, 21 percent of the respondents in the government vertical have adopted cloud computing in one form or the other.
Startups are jumping on too
The adoption of cloud business applications is on the rise among startups too. Cloud offers new and rapidly evolving organizations the ability to leverage the best of technology in a more consumable manner. Leading cloud solutions like Salesforce.com, NetSuite and SPS Commerce allow startups to remain focused on their business objectives and not become involved in the nuances of running their systems. Using cloud services, these small businesses can shave years off of the R&D “stealth” stage that most startups go through. With cloud, the time from an idea to a new product or service can now be measured in months, not years. Fundamentally disrupting the whole equilibrium of business world.
Hybrid Cloud is leading the adoption models as enterprises realized that hybrid model is able to give them the control and agility as they crusade through the cloud journey. Similarly, cloud is witnessing proliferated adoption in the public sector across the world. Cloud has also enabled new startups to roll out products and services in record time, relying on cloud as a key competitive advantage to dethrone the incumbents.
This is going to be an interesting year. Keep a keen lookout, the cloud pulse beats are just going to get more intense and deafening.