GROWING ACCEPTANCE: TRENDS IN THE 2012 FUTURE OF CLOUD COMPUTING ANNUAL SURVEY
Cloud computing is no longer the new kid on the block. That means it's losing its novelty and coming under real scrutiny. The good news? It's really coming up trumps. In this article, we'll take a look at the strong trend between the 2011 and 2012 Future of Cloud Computing annual survey – the trend of growing confidence in cloud computing as an IT strategy.
The Future of Cloud Computing annual survey takes a statistical approach to canvassing the opinions of hundreds of corporate bodies – 785 this year, up from 417 in 2011 (and including companies such as Citrix and Microsoft) – to get an overview of the sentiment about cloud computing in the business sphere. There were some key takeaways for System Admins to consider in the survey, but there was also a lot of strategically important stuff. In this article, we’re going to look at the evidence for one of the strong trends suggested by the data: that confidence in cloud computing as a bona fide IT strategy is rising rapidly.
First up, there’s the sheer impact that cloud computing is having in the IT development sphere. More than 50% of recipients believed that cloud computing would have a disruptive influence on ‘most’ categories – including Big Data, Mobile, Office Productivity and even Communications and HR. Perhaps as a result of this awareness, 55% of CIOs are to increase spending on SaaS (Software as a Service) in 2012. Software has seen some of the greatest disruption to the typical ‘code and manually distribute for individual clients to run’ model, with 6x more software coded for remote cloud computation (SaaS) than for individual client computation. At current rates, predictions are that 84% of new software will be SaaS.
The increased confidence in cloud computing is also demonstrated by the increased numbers of businesses deploying SaaS applications. The survey found that 67% of companies already deploy SaaS applications, and a further 14% are planning to within the next year. Only 19% of respondents said they had no intention to – meaning that an overwhelming 81% are in favour, then.
Confidence in cloud security and privacy is also rocketing. In 2011, 10% of recipients said they were avoiding the platform as it was ‘too risky’. By 2012 this had dropped to only 3% of recipients – despite data-incursive laws such as the Patriot Act coming in to force in the US. Only 12% of recipients said that security needed to mature further – down from a quarter of all recipients in 2011 – for them to be happy with rolling out the platform more completely.
Perhaps most stunningly is the stat around overall confidence. In response to the question ‘how do you feel about cloud computing?’ an incredible 50% of all responses claimed that they had ‘complete confidence’ in the platform. That’s up from a meagre 13% in 2011. Needless to say, that sort of rise suggests a bright future for cloud. Customers lagged behind, with around 37% expressing complete confidence, so there is clearly more education needing to happen to convince customers of the benefits that vendors are happy to see.
At the moment, factors inhibiting spiralling confidence include security – with 55% of respondents saying this was holding them back – and compliance. Compliance is a serious issue at the moment –because the technology is still relatively new, regulatory bodies are not fully operational or able to act decisively on matters of regulatory ambiguity.
The ultimate measure of confidence, however, is where investment is going. And companies are certainly putting their money where their mouth is on this one; venture cloud financing sat at $1.6 billion in 2010, and rose 50% to $2.4 billion in 2011. The future is very bright for cloud computing, and confidence in the new technology is leading the way.