Wednesday, July 25, 2012
We’ve studied the cloud computing market for three years. Our inaugural study focused on gauging the marketplace and defining cloud concepts, and the second study explored early adoption trends among end-users and channel firms. With the 3rd Annual Trends in Cloud Computing
study, CompTIA examines a maturing market and the changes that are taking place not only for IT but also for business in general.
The cloud market is expected to continue its rapid growth path. Gartner projects
that total cloud revenue will reach $207 billion by 2016. This includes revenue from SaaS, Paas and IaaS along with the Gartner category Business Process as a Service (BPaaS), which represents services such as cloud payments, cloud advertising and e-commerce enablement. The financial outlook from CompTIA’s study corroborates these numbers, with 52 percent of end-users growing cloud investment by 10 percent or more and 42 percent of channel firms project cloud revenue increases of 15 percent or greater.
This growth, though, comes with a flip side. The nature of cloud computing changes the dynamic of IT usage. With on-demand payment options and low barriers of entry, cloud solutions open new options for using computing resources and are also accessible by groups outside a centralized IT organization. Changes are taking place that disrupt how technology is ingrained within a company, and this will lead to a new approach for IT practitioners.
The changes begin even with the procurement of IT solutions. Although IT teams currently have the most knowledge about the applications the business is using, the data shows that lines of business are more likely to consider cloud options for future application usage. The good news is that many companies that allow lines of business to procure solutions are also keeping the IT team involved—48 percent give the IT department final approval and 39 percent consult with IT without requiring them to approve the solution. Even keeping the IT team aware of solutions in use can help avoid delay when that team is needed to debug problems or integrate cloud options with other business systems.
Beyond procurement, there are a host of changes that cloud is forcing businesses to make. Policies and procedures are being changed to reflect new requirements for security, company data or mobile devices. One third of companies have restructured the IT department, in some cases adding new skills for building private clouds or integrating solutions. While only one in five companies have contracted with an outside company, this number may rise quickly in the future as smaller businesses move beyond simple cloud applications and follow the lead of larger companies in breaking new ground thanks to cloud computing.
It is this breaking of new ground that indicates that cloud computing will have a long-term positive impact on IT operations, even though there are short-term storms that must be weathered. Forty-four percent of companies using cloud solutions say that they made the transition because the cloud option was simply better for multiple reasons. The wide range of benefits realized across a variety of applications gives businesses a new paradigm to work from, and there are numerous opportunities for channel firms to engage with clients as they solve problems and move towards cloud-enabled architectures.