Latest cloud computing report shows benefits exceed expectations

A report from CA Technologies, entitled ‘Cloud Succeeds. Now What?’ has revealed that, for many companies polled, their cloud solutions have been more successful than they were expecting.

The train of thought here, of course, has to wonder what those expectations were, especially in a week where service level agreements (SLAs) are at the forefront following 100% SLA provider Mimecast’s outage.

Yet for companies experienced with cloud, the report notes that more sophisticated systems are being demanded, such as end-to-end automation, more flexible service-level management and – the big one – the ability to flip between CSPs.

The report defines ‘experience’ pretty highly, as should be expected for ushering in cloud’s maturation: four years and a minimum of three platforms utilised.

Unsurprisingly, software as a service (SaaS) is still the most popular platform, utilised by 68% in EMEA and 94% in the US. However, across the EMEA region, platform as a service (PaaS) is utilised more frequently than infrastructure as a service (IaaS), whereas IaaS is more widely used in the US.

This may come as a bit of a surprise, given PaaS is firmly positioned as the smallest cloud market, although, utilising other services within its family – business platform as a service (BPaaS), integrated platform as a service (iPaaS), for instance – PaaS is expected to become the fastest growing segment, with Gartner noting back in November the market would hit $1bn globally by the start of 2013.

In terms of cloudy benefits, it was interesting to note the differences between region. For both SaaS and IaaS, US companies wanted more innovation in their IT, whilst the most important element for European respondents was bean counting. Both segments had the same core expectation for PaaS; “superior IT performance, scalability, or resiliency”.

Besides all this however, the fact that cloud seems to be punching above its weight in terms of ROI is still an intriguing takeaway.

Two in five said that cloud was exceeding their expectations, with fewer than 10% across all platforms bemoaning that their cloud deployment had either taken “somewhat” or “much” longer than planned. Approximately 20% across the board said that it was “much faster” than expected.

Yet there is one small proviso; for a small number of SaaS (5%) and IaaS (6%) respondents, the platform had failed to meet expectations for increasing revenues.  

Another interesting element of the report related to security. Whilst it’s commonplace to see respondents worry about security as the one reason not to adopt, in this instance a whopping 98% of those polled said that the cloud “met or exceeded their expectations for security.”

Security, however, remains the primary reason as to why apps are not migrated to the cloud, according to 46% of the vote. Privacy (34%), worry about critical apps (28%) and cost (26%) follow.

But what’s the biggest, juiciest proof point to take away from this CA Technologies study? It follows a similar pattern with other reports.

Companies who look at a cloud solution and question whether it’s going to be a success are one step behind the rest of the game. More sophisticated thinking is now required as to how to get tangible ROI and to keep the bottom line up, and not worrying about how many nines are on the SLA.

The full report can be found here (registration required). Is your cloud vendor outperforming your investment?

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30 May 2013, 12:12 a.m.

An increasing number of reports are showing cloud delivering positive outcomes for clients in terms of user satisfaction, business objectives of top and bottom line improvements and greater IT efficiency and reliablity.

Cloud Industry Forum reports for example detailed s high 9o's satisfaction rate from those adopting cloud.

Ian Moyse