Talking cloud – Enterprise cloud adoption may be slower thanwe think (part two in a series)

Posted by on July 31, 2014 10:43pm

A look at the five key trends I see driving the industry over the next 12 months.

See my first post here

werner-2-1Amazon Web Services chief technology officer Werner Vogels asserted at GigaOm’s Structure 2014 that “all new workloads are on the cloud”. But some other speakers shared data that showed deployment is less than universal in the enterprise. Both Hewlett-Packard and VMware agreed that the percentage of enterprise applications in the cloud is in the low single digits.

More surprising data came from the Future of the Cloud survey that was released at the conference, that showed that the overall percentage of enterprises adopting the cloud has not changed significantly since last year. Certain IT functions like apps development and web presence have seen significant growth but others haven’t moved at all.

While this data on slower-than-expected adoption represents both a challenge and an opportunity, it also underscores that we can’t view the enterprise as a single category. There are greenfield IT businesses such as Airbnb or Netflix, for whom the cloud is the obvious choice. There is also the legacy IT, which represents the largest opportunity in terms of total available market but where many CIOs still need to be shown the true value proposition of the cloud. That value is not limited to cost savings but also the availability of elastic on-demand resources, and the utility usage based pricing which moves costs from capital expenses to operational expenses.⬯ In addition, different enterprises are adopting different cloud strategies. HP, VMware and IBM are advocating a hybrid (private cloud + public cloud) approach.

Among Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) players, competition is certainly growing, with Azure and Google gaining ground against the leader AWS. Azure defines hyperscale datacenter growth as adding one million machines a year ⬦ that’s a staggering scale that few players other than AWS, Azure and Google can compete against. It suggests that in the future IaaS will have only a few strong players.

So, while much of the trillion dollar enterprise cloud market remains up for grabs, only a small number companies well positioned to sell to the enterprise appear poised to succeed. And the ability to support a hybrid model and transparently move workloads from on-premise compute to the cloud and vice versa will have a clear edge.

Don’t hesitate to contact me directly with your comments and inputs via paola dot moretto at nouvola dot com. You can find me on Twitter at @paolamoretto3 or @nouvolatech.