Application delivery network vendor F5 Networks released the results of a survey of IT managers. The study, commissioned by F5 and conducted by Applied Research West, found that while 80% of large enterprises are in at least trial stages of cloud computing projects, there still remains concerns over adoption, as well as a continued ambiguity over the definition of cloud computing.
The most compelling statistic from F5's study is the level of cloud adoption among large enterprises. Half of the respondents are actively using a public cloud solution, with an additional 30% either implementing or running trials in the cloud. These numbers are a stark contrast to a similar study performed by Information Week Analytics nearly a year ago. In that survey, a mere 18% of respondents were using a cloud provider, and another 20% were considering it. What hasn't changed in the last twelve months, however, are the requirements necessary for enterprises to embrace cloud computing. In both surveys, security and access control were the highest priorities among respondents.
Also of note was where the push for the cloud is coming from within the organization. While IT led the pack, the application development teams and even line of business stakeholders were running close in pushing public cloud initiatives. For these two groups, the driving force behind pushing for cloud is the promise of nearly infinite resources. Application developers can roll out their new apps without waiting for IT to provision equipment. Likewise, the LOB stakeholders see cloud services as an opportunity to roll out new services without the capital overhead of new servers in the data center. Based on these motivations, it is understandable that these groups are less involved in private cloud discussions than their IT counterparts.
From the survey results, it's clear that there continues to be a lot of confusion in what exactly the term cloud computing actually means. When presented with six common cloud computing definitions, respondents could not agree on a single definition that was all-encompassing, with most of the definitions are being "Almost there." The lack of a clear definition of cloud computing, as well the broadening of the term with both public and private clouds, only serves to enable any vendor with a solution available over the Internet to jump on the cloud computing bandwagon.
Ultimately, while adoption rates highlight a cloud computing market that is maturing at a rapid pace, the challenges to bring new solutions to the enterprise have not changed. Despite IT managers being inundated from all sides to move into the cloud, they still have to tread carefully through the hype and ensure that cloud computing fits into their architectures.