451 Research: 60% of workloads running in cloud by 2018 – and the rise of cloud-first

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According to the latest forecast from 451 Research, three in five enterprise workloads will run in the cloud by mid-2018, up from two in five (41%) today.

The analyst firm argues there will be strong growth in particular enterprise workload categories, including data and analytics and business applications. In the same timeframe, almost a quarter (23%) of enterprise workloads will be software as a service (SaaS), compared to 12% for IaaS. 451 argues that IaaS will be the highest growing segment, and despite the ‘hype and attention’ associated with it comprises only 6% of workloads today.

Almost two in five (38%) of the 1,200 global IT professionals surveyed said they have a cloud-first policy, with the most common events leading to increased cloud usage including mergers and acquisitions, as well as software upgrades, hardware refreshes, and data centre capacity expansions.

“The predicted doubling of IaaS usage is the highest growth expectation for any type of cloud and points to significant revenue potential for vendors in this space,” said Andrew Reichman, research director of 451 Research and author of the report. “Because cloud delivers increasing agility and flexibility to better fit ever-changing business needs, IaaS and SaaS allows organisations to focus their efforts on their business, rather than on maintaining costly and complex data centres and infrastructure.

“If used properly, it has the potential to dramatically improve efficiency and results of business technology usage,” Reichman added.

These figures dovetail nicely with a forecast made by Huawei at its Connect event earlier this week, where the Chinese telco argued that by 2025 all enterprise IT would be ‘cloudified’, and that 85% of all enterprise applications would be based in the cloud.

The 451 Research report, ‘Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud Transformation’, can be found here (registration required).

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