Back in 2008, a survey conducted by the Pew Research Institute claimed that cloud services were being used by nearly 69% of Americans. Since then, the industry has experienced hyper-growth and exceeded the already vast predictions of how big it would become.
More recently, Gartner predicted that by 2020 a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as unusual as a ‘no-internet’ policy would be today; while a study by Citrix noted that due to the cloud becoming so deeply embedded in business processes the word itself may soon be no longer required.
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In other words, the cloud is becoming ubiquitous.
“Despite the various data breaches, security missteps, and occasional outages, consumers of technology services are putting more data into the cloud; they’re using more digital products and services; and they’re buying more devices that run cloud-based applications,” explained Javed Sikander, CTO at NetEnrich. “Like other consumer activities, users clearly are saying that when it comes to the cloud, they’re willing to accept some risk. Business and IT leaders are getting the message, which explains the big jump in the amount of time and money companies are spending on the cloud.”
In December 2018, NetEnrich, the IT services firm, completed a survey of 100 IT decision-makers in companies with 500 or more employees. It found that 85% of respondents reported either moderate or extensive production use of cloud infrastructure, while 80% stated their organisation had moved at least a quarter of all their applications and workloads to the public cloud. Meanwhile, 86% of respondents have re-architected some or all of their applications to use cloud-native services.
By making these moves, businesses are benefiting from a faster time-to-market for new digital products and services, lower costs and optimised use of their IT infrastructures. However, the velocity, scale and priorities associated with cloud adoption differs from business to business.
In conducting its survey, NetEnrich sought to clarify how far along companies are in their cloud adoption, and their goals and challenges. They found, perhaps less surprisingly, the promise of saving money is a key allure for the cloud (59%). IT professionals said they are spending an immoderate amount of time on day-to-day maintenance (36%), as opposed to forward-looking tasks such as troubleshooting and root cause analysis (22%) which can deliver more significant cost savings.
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Another cost-related concern: talent. IT pros said the cost of finding and hiring skilled staff (48%) was their top cost concern.
Nearly one-third (32%) of respondents also reported a commitment to pushing successful end-to-end customer engagement. This is an excellent example of how IT’s priorities are shifting. Traditionally IT has been focused primarily on “keeping the lights on,” with only a passing interest in how the services it provided impacted customers. But not anymore; most IT leaders recognise the direct relationship between technology and customer satisfaction and are, therefore, looking to the cloud.
Cloud security is still a big issue, 72% of respondents said cyber security would be their biggest priority in 2019; 33% said security is their biggest concern when moving to the cloud; 20% said it was privacy.
This reflects the increasing challenge of how to protect company, employee, customer and product information, while simultaneously accessing the innovation, cost and efficiency benefits that come with moving more infrastructure and applications to the cloud.
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