IT pros will take a harder look at cloud computing in 2012
By Ed Scannell, Executive Editor and Stuart Johnston, Senior News Writer, SearchCloudComputing.com 30-Dec-2011
Despite slow adoption by enterprise IT in the years since cloud computing emerged, 2012 may turn out to be the year when cloud technologies finally begin to gain parity with more traditional data center staples such as virtualization and tape libraries.
TechTarget's 2012 IT Priorities Survey found that a growing number of enterprises -- some 24.1% -- plan to grow their expenditures for cloud services over the next year. In fact, 27% of respondents said that cloud computing initiatives were viewed with high importance at their companies. Another 53% rated the importance of their cloud projects as medium.
“We’ve done enough investing in infrastructure-level products and virtualization, along with exploring options for cloud strategies,” said Len Barney, a purchasing agent with a large transportation company in Jacksonville, Fla., USA. “Next year is when we’ll move forward with implementing our first significant cloud, which will be a hybrid [cloud model]. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re there now.”
While only 28.1% of the respondents said implementing a private cloud next year is a high priority, about 56.1% said it was a medium-level priority. Only nine percent of respondents said implementing a private cloud was not on their radar screens in 2012. Some of those making private cloud implementations a medium priority next year said doing so hinges largely on the state of the economy.
“It’s just a matter of time before we roll out [private cloud], but whether we do it in 2012 depends on which way the economic winds blow,” said Ned Johnson, an IT manager with a Houston-based trucking company. “If they don’t blow in our favor, there are lots of other investments we can make to maintain existing systems and infrastructure.”
Simultaneously, most IT budgets are either growing (51.7%) or holding steady (28.3%), the survey found, with only 12.2% seeing a budget decrease.
Meanwhile, the most commonly cited external cloud service that IT departments will use in the new year is Software-as-a-Service (53.8%), with Storage-as-a-Service placing second (33%). Private cloud design and deployment was much further down on the list at 14.5%, although this didn’t surprise some IT professionals.
“There’s quite a bit we need to invest in before we get around to spending on things like the design of private clouds. More urgently for us [in 2012] is investing more in storage and security services. Then we can afford to focus on cloud design,” said Eugene Lee, senior systems administrator with a large bank in Charlotte, N.C., USA.
That compares to last year's survey, when 22% planned cloud storage initiatives. Further, respondents said that, by the end of 2012, approximately 17.9% of their data will be stored in the cloud.
Respondents appear to be putting a priority on migrating email systems in the cloud, with about 75% saying it is a high or medium priority to do so by the end of 2012, with only 25% indicating it was a low priority.
Conversely, the majority of respondents are being less aggressive when it comes to expanding their storage capacity in the cloud. Only 5.6% said they plan to have more than 80% of their storage capacity in the cloud, with 52% planning to have anywhere from 10% and 39% in the cloud.
The 2012 TechTarget survey polled more than 600 IT professionals and business analysts in a fairly even mixture of job positions, from IT staffers, engineers and programmers to IT directors, managers and architects as well as CIOs and CTOs.