Cloud Computing Deepens its Roots in the Enterprise, IOUG Survey Finds

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Cloud  computing continues gaining strength in the enterprise, according to a new survey of 262 data managers and professionals, most of whom are part of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG). The IOUG survey, which explores the opportunities and challenges presented by cloud computing, was underwritten by Oracle Corporation and conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc.

Along with data drawn from the survey results, which confirms that cloud has been embraced as a mainstream business technology, respondents also provided additional observations regarding cloud computing. There is a general consensus that if properly implemented and managed with the support of the business, cloud computing will deliver what is needed.

While definitions of “cloud” can vary, for purposes of the survey, “private cloud” was defined as on-demand shared services provided to internal departments or lines of business within enterprises. “Public cloud” was defined as on-demand services provided by public cloud providers.

There has been a notable surge in adoption of both private and public clouds for application hosting, development, and storage. Database platform as a service via public cloud is up three-fold over the past two years to 37%. Email and collaboration tools are the applications most used within cloud settings, and this is particularly the case with public cloud engagements, the survey found. Cloud-based human resources applications are also on the rise.

The survey found that a majority of respondents with private clouds are or will be running a substantial portion of their IT workloads within these environments. Thirty-eight percent of respondents now run substantial portions of their workloads in the cloud, and this number will increase to 51% within a year’s time. Private clouds are prevalent in close to two-fifths of the organizations surveyed, and public cloud adoption is accelerating—even among large organizations. The percentage of respondents indicating no significant workloads in a private cloud has declined to 8% in this study compared to 20% in the study two years ago. And by next year, only 4% of respondents to this study expect to have nothing running in a private cloud.

While most executives favor private clouds over public clouds because of security, private clouds are also viewed as being more cost-efficient. The main business benefit from private cloud deployments is cost savings through consolidation while higher scalability is the leading technical benefit.

The ability to operate without an IT infrastructure is the most frequently cited advantage with public cloud, followed by speed to market. In this study, 26% of respondents report that they are using public cloud services either in full or limited deployments, or within pilot projects. This number is up by 86% from the cloud survey in 2010, when only 14% reported adoption. And, while public cloud is often viewed as a platform sought by smaller organizations with limited IT budgets, the survey shows that larger organizations are also buying into public cloud services. One-fifth of respondents whose companies have more than 10,000 employees say they are deploying public cloud services in limited use.

To access the executive summary of the research, go here. IOUG members may access the full research report, “Enterprise Cloudscapes: Deeper and More Strategic, 2012-2013 IOUG Cloud Computing Survey,” authored by Unisphere Research analyst Joe McKendrick, by logging in.