2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Exposes Hottest Trends in Cloud Adoption
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2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Exposes Hottest Trends in Cloud Adoption

North Bridge Venture Partners has published the results of its second annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey. Supported by 39 industry collaborators spanning established leaders, emerging, fast-growth companies, and startups – the 2012 survey captures current industry perceptions, sentiments and emerging trends in cloud computing. This year’s collaborators include companies such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Eucalyptus, and Glasshouse. A total of 785 respondents spanning industry experts, users and vendors participated in the survey.

“Our second annual survey has revealed that companies are growing increasingly confident in the cloud. While agility and scalability continue to be primary drivers for cloud adoption, IT decision makers are beginning to trust the cloud with more mission-critical applications like eCommerce. Furthermore, the identification of ‘cloud formations’ around the hottest business trends including big data and analytics by both vendors and IT decision makers alike highlights new opportunities for Cloud. Thanks to the efforts of our partners, collaborators and survey participants from industry leaders, to emerging players and startups, we have gained a deeper understanding of how this transformational technology will evolve and impact business,” said Michael Skok, partner, North Bridge Venture Partners.

Respondents were asked about a wide range of key issues impacting cloud computing, including drivers for cloud computing, inhibitors, best practices, sourcing, total cost of ownership (TCO), cloud’s impact on multiple business sectors, and emerging cloud technologies. The survey provides many insights into the adoption of cloud computing, including the cloud configurations and applications that are forming around specific business needs including Big Data, business continuity, collaboration and storage.

Key Findings of the survey include:

  • Companies are accelerating their trust in cloud solutions, with 50 percent of respondents confident that cloud solutions are viable for mission critical business applications.
  • Scalability remains the top reason for adopting the cloud, with 57 percent of companies identifying it as the most important driver for cloud adoption. Business agility ranked second among drivers for cloud adoption, with 54 percent of respondents focused on agility.
  • Security remains the primary inhibitor to adoption in the burgeoning cloud marketplace with 55 percent of respondents identifying it as a concern, followed by regulatory compliance (38%) and vendor lock-in (32%).
  • Software as a service (SaaS) is currently, and is expected to remain the primary type of cloud investment, with 82 percent of respondents citing it as in use today, and 88 percent expecting to use it five years from now.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will see significant growth in the next five years, with PaaS growing from 40 percent to 72 percent and IaaS growing from 51 percent
    to 66 percent.
  • The top 3 areas in which “cloud formations” are coming together are backup and archiving (43 percent), business continuity (25 percent), collaboration tools (22 percent), and big data processing (19 percent).
  • Cloud users are shifting sentiments with regard to public vs. hybrid cloud platforms.
  • Currently, 40 percent of respondents’ are deploying public cloud strategies, with 36 percent emphasizing a hybrid approach.
  • Within five years, hybrid clouds will be the emphasis of 52 percent of respondents’ cloud strategies.
  • With an increase in trust of the cloud, big data is emerging as a major focus for vendors and end-users alike.
  • 80 percent of respondents identify big data as the most likely sector to be disrupted by cloud computing.
  • Vendors identify analytics and big data as the first and second most important cloud service to provide, respectively.

“For the second straight year, the Future of Cloud Computing survey has confirmed some of 451 Group’s recent research. It appears that there is growing familiarity and trust of public cloud accompanied by a desire to move beyond one’s own internal infrastructure, cloud or not. This is an understandable trend as the public cloud has existed for some time, presented enough options and has had time to progress from test or POC deployments to production implementations, which is reinforced by other responses. The move away from internally-hosted to public and hybrid clouds reflects the need and desire to integrate with other technologies, vendors and ecosystems. This year’s survey proves organizations want flexibility along with scalability,” said Jay Lyman, Senior Analyst, 451 Group.

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