On the up: cloud adoption and cloud benefits

Rightscale’s recent State of the Cloud report has shown that as expected, cloud adoption is continuing to rise, year on year. The annual report includes findings based on responses from 930 technical professionals, which show a trend towards cloud being “a given” for SMEs and Enterprises, where the hybrid model reigns supreme.

Adopt, nurture — and reap the rewards

One of the most interesting findings in the report is that the benefits associated with cloud increase over time. So, although the advantages of adopting cloud computing are tangible from the beginning (scalability, faster provision of resources, high availability and faster time to market reported as the most important) the depth and impact of these benefits grow with maturity. Presumably, this is a function of how cloud beds into a business with teams learning to use the technology more effectively, and also the way in which cloud technology itself is evolving.

Adopt, nurture — and feel the fear fade

Conversely, the challenges that cloud presents are reported as becoming less apparent as the dust settles after cloud adoption. Again, it seems fair to assume that this might be in part due to the acclimatisation of a business and its people to the reality of cloud. The most common concerns remain the same — those centred around perceptions of security, staff expertise and compliance — but they have been shown to have less of an impact as time goes on.

IT and business agility in action

With scalability and fast provision of resources coming in as the main benefits of cloud adoption, it’s really interesting to see some figures that show how this is actually happening in the businesses that contributed to the report. Of those businesses that offer a self-service cloud portal, 80% can provision resources in less than an hour — 40% up on the same time last year.

See the benefits for yourself

What difference would it make to your business if you could get the resources that you needed within an hour so that you could scale on demand, get things done without delay, react to your customer’s demands? Help yourself to a free two week cloud data centre trial, and with full support from our team, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to whether cloud is right for you business.

Archive posts

Get the most out of your VMware cloud data centre

If you’ve recently signed up for a cloud data centre trial with us, and haven’t yet had your walk through with me (just get in touch to arrange that) here’s a series of posts from our archive that should help you to find your way around vCloud Director.

If you find yourself stuck, don’t forget we’re only a phone call (0808 222 2221 – press 3 for support, and you’ll be through to our support team) or email away. And if there’s anything you’d like to see included in a future cloud management post from me, I’d welcome your suggestions.

Tips #1

  • Set up different privileges for your organisations users
  • Subscribe and publish to external catalogs
  • Upload any file type to use in your cloud data centre

Tips #2

  • Deploy from a template item and configure virtual machines hardware settings to speed up deployment
  • Clone running vApps/VMs
  • Add CPU, memory, storage and NICs while a VM is powered on

Tips #3

  • Import and export vApps from your cloud data centre
  • Support for more browsers, including Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Do you want to try cloud for yourself?

We offer cloud evaluations with full support and features — spend some time getting to know how cloud might fit into your business, and get your test drive up and running today.

Any of these IT pains ring a bell with you?

Whether you’re a CIO in name or it’s just one of the numerous roles you somehow manage to find the time to fit into, perhaps you’ll identify with Mati Cohen’s assertion that you spend much of your working life stuck between a rock and a hard place.

For the CIO has the unenviable task of mediating the battle between the strategic demands of a business and the IT teams expected to deliver the tools to achieve them. In his article “The 7 Absolute Worst Pains of the CIO” for ITProPortal.com, Mati highlights some of the key causes for conflict, and the usual culprits of contention all make an appearance.

Come on IT, keep up!

Waiting can be a frustrating and expensive experience, especially if those delays feel (or indeed, likely are) detrimental to the business. As the pace of market demand and competitive activity increases, the lag effect of a hobbled IT infrastructure is only intensified.

We’re doing all we can!

Embattled and under pressure, IT teams are working flat out simply treading water — where, as Mati suggests, 80% of budgets are swallowed up by maintaining existing infrastructures.

Continue reading “Any of these IT pains ring a bell with you?” »

A look forward, a look back — why *are* businesses using cloud?

Well, January is coming to an end. So no doubt we’ve all had our fill of technology and business predictions for 2015…

I could, for example, state the statistic that cloud spending is expected to increase from $156bn in 2014 to $183bn in 2015, or that by the end of 2017 half of large enterprises will be using hybrid clouds. They’re impressive figures and show what is for us at least (as a cloud service provider!) an encouraging trend.

And? So what?

But do they really mean anything to you as a potential user of cloud infrastructure? What relevance do these uptake statistics have to you, your business, and your decision about the way that you work with IT now and in the future? Unless you’re one to jump on the bandwagon simply because everyone else is (apparently) doing it, I doubt they carry much weight or significance.

Continue reading “A look forward, a look back — why *are* businesses using cloud?” »

Cloud Industry Forum foresees huge catalyst for cloud adoption in 2015

By the end of 2015, 90% of UK organisations will have at least one service operating in the cloud. That’s what the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) is predicting — demonstrating a significant increase on research published earlier this year that states as many as 78% of UK businesses are now using cloud services.

90%? That’s a big jump

What’s going to drive this apparently drastic shift in the way IT services are deployed and accessed? Aside from what we’d suggest is natural momentum and transition associated with the increasing acceptance and understanding of cloud as a trusted, viable and (actually) beneficial technology, the CIF have identified what it suggests is the “most significant IT refresh of the 21st century to date” — in July, time will officially be up for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2003.

Continue reading “Cloud Industry Forum foresees huge catalyst for cloud adoption in 2015” »

IT decision makers: two clouds are better than one

That was the main finding from a survey published last month, as reported by Joe McKendrick at ZDNet earlier this week. The research drew responses from 659 participants, 77 per cent of whom reported that they already have, or are planning to deploy workloads across more than one cloud.

McKendrick suggests that this is evidence of an emerging trend among enterprises to adopt multiple clouds or service providers, implying the caution and established wisdom of “distributing one’s eggs among several baskets” is being exercised.

Understandably, as business begins to entrust more and more of its IT to the cloud — trust is a key word here — those who act as guardians for the uptime and performance of their IT operation need to know that reliability in the cloud isn’t going to be an issue. If you’ve been accustomed to colocation for example — very much a hands-on way of working — it feels like a lot of responsibility to hand over to someone else.

Continue reading “IT decision makers: two clouds are better than one” »

Cloud — we’re past the hype and well on the road to the Plateau of Productivity…

Well, that’s the case according to the grandly titled “2014 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies”. It has taken quite some time for the buzzword status of “cloud” to begin to fade away, but the signs are there that the concept of utility computing is on its way to reaching mainstream adoption. Wild expectations and fuzzy definitions are melting away to reveal the hardcore facts of what cloud can and can’t do.

Where then, on the so-called Hype Cycle is cloud? Let’s take a look:

014 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies

As you can see (slightly larger version if you want it here) “Hybrid Cloud” has been plotted on the way down from the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”, on its approach to the somewhat gloomy-sounding “Trough of Disillusionment”, where “Cloud” itself currently resides: the realignment of expectations along with the beginning of a true understanding of how cloud works, and crucially, the appreciation of the benefits it offers to business.

The Slope of Enlightenment, leading to the Plateau of Productivity

Gartner predict that cloud is somewhere between two to five years away from reaching the Zen-like “Plateau of Productivity”, so true maturity is still a few years off. As we highlighted last week though, the big players are seeing cloud adoption on the increase, with enterprises in particular signalling their trust in cloud as a way of accessing computing resources and deploying important applications.

Of course, when you’ve been working with cloud for quite a few years — just like us ;) — it can be frustrating waiting for the market to catch up…

All aboard the fast track to enlightenment!

…but you can skip this whole nonsense of hype — cut out the inflated expectations and get straight to the business end of how cloud might help your business. Evaluate your own cloud data centre and decide for yourself: we’ll give you full access to a VMware cloud and guide you through how to use it with full technical support and a one-to-one tutorial with our decorated (and friendly!) VMware expert Dean.

He’s ready and waiting to impart his wisdom :)

The flight to cloud grows — we’re seeing it, industry is seeing it.

We reported a couple of weeks ago that cloud was gaining traction in enterprise IT; well, there are more stats this week from a couple of studies that support those findings: cloud adoption is on the increase, and significantly so.

Verizon’s “State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2014” report suggests that 70 per cent of companies are now trusting cloud platforms with mission critical applications, while spend on cloud in the enterprise market is up 38 per cent year on year.

Talking of spending, a report by IDC (Independent Data Corporation) forecasts that by the end of 2014, investment in public cloud services (combining SaaS, PaaS and IaaS) will reach $56.6 billion, adopting a compound annual growth rate of 22.8 per cent to reach $127 billion in 2018.

Our view?

And that backs up what we’re seeing as a hosting and infrastructure provider “at the coal face”. We’re approaching a real milestone at 1st Easy, where cloud hosting services will soon overtake physical colocation in terms of contribution to our revenues. This big shift is occurring as our existing colocation and physical server customers choose to stay part of the family, and migrate to our cloud server and cloud data centre solutions. This sits alongside a notable increase in new enquiries — specifically around cloud services.

Perhaps those barriers to adoption that we’ve talked about in recent posts are finally being overcome — maybe cloud isn’t quite as scary as some people would have you believe!

Continue reading “The flight to cloud grows — we’re seeing it, industry is seeing it.” »

Cloud playing big part in new enterprise IT trends

Although welcome (to us at least!) it’s no particular surprise that the top three trends in enterprise IT (as identified by Matt Murphy in a report for TechCrunch this week) all have their basis in cloud computing.

1. Cloud computing

The number one slot is given to cloud computing in general — with an interesting statistic from Morgan Stanley suggesting that a third of workloads now run in the cloud. Maybe it’s the fact that cloud is taking its place in the enterprise setting that’s most significant here: acceptance of the technology in and of itself (seeing its value and overcoming the perceived threats/technical barriers to adoption) and as a business strategy is increasing — and big business is ready to capitalise. Indeed, in a piece for ZDNet last week, Joe McKendrick highlighted the case of GE (a $146-billion-a-year company with 300,000 employees) which reportedly deploys over 90 per cent of new applications in the cloud — and public cloud at that.

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Perceived threat (and the reassuring reality) of cloud security

As seems to be fairly common knowledge (and as we’ve reported in the past) one of the major barriers to cloud adoption is the perception that it is less secure than typical IT platforms — even though in reality, the opposite has been suggested to be true.

This disparity between expectation and the reality of cloud security, is again exposed in recent research carried out by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).

Of 250 IT professionals that were questioned, 61 per cent reported that security is the primary area for concern. This contrasts with a figure of 2 per cent of organisations that actually believed they’d experienced a security issue in the cloud.

Continue reading “Perceived threat (and the reassuring reality) of cloud security” »