The Cloud Takes Off for Business

The cloud is becoming a popular tool for businesses across the country, with 88 percent of enterprises saying cloud improves responsiveness to business needs, 69 percent saying it has enabled them to re-engineer one or more of their business processes, and 65 percent saying it improves overall operations, according to Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ 2016 State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud report.

“Last year, the news was that cloud was being used for mission-critical workloads; now enterprises are using it to transform how they achieve that mission,” said Ryan Shuttleworth, cloud chief technology officer for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “Companies are using cloud technologies to create new customer experiences, re-engineer their business processes, find new opportunities to grow, and manage risk and compliance measures.”

In just a couple of years, the report predicts, half of all workloads–across organizations of all kinds–will be running in the cloud, it said.

And the costs are going down. One of the biggest changes in the cloud market is a dramatic fall in the barriers to entry of private cloud. This is largely being driven by advances in technology.

“Lower starting costs mean that private cloud is no longer only suitable for those with huge budgets. Even a relatively small number of servers can be economically viable as a private cloud,” the document said in its third annual report on the cloud.

The survey took place over the summer and involved hundreds of Verizon’s large enterprise and government customers.

The report also found:

•    Cloud supports mission-critical workloads. Eighty-seven percent of enterprises use cloud for mission-critical workloads, up from 60 percent cited in Verizon’s first report.

•    Private cloud on the rise. Nearly half of enterprises (44 percent) are currently using, or plan to implement, a private cloud solution. Only slightly more than one in three respondents (37 percent) feel the same about public cloud.

•    No one cloud fits all. More than half (53 percent) of enterprises use two to four cloud providers. And 26 percent use more than 10. Enterprises are embracing a multicloud strategy.

•    Cloud use in the enterprise continues to grow. Eighty-four percent say their cloud use has increased in the past year. Half of enterprises say they will use cloud for at least 75 percent of their workloads by 2018.

•    Security isn’t an implementation impediment. In fact, 80 percent of enterprises say their cloud environment is as secure (40 percent) or more secure (20 percent say “a bit more secure,” 20 percent say “much more secure”) compared to their on-premise infrastructure.

Recommendations:

•    Keep the projects short. Six months, tops.

•    Don’t try to do it alone. Tap the skills of specialists.

•    Improve transparency.

•    Continually reassess security.

Judi Hasson is a contributing writer for MeriTalk.

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