Private Cloud Satisfaction Growing, Dissatisfaction Disappearing

    Although cloud computing has been sought after by companies around the world, businesses are embracing the technology more holistically and naturally than ever before. The private cloud in particular is gaining substantial momentum across enterprises, as executives realize that launching the hosted services is not as difficult as skeptics initially made it out to be. Meanwhile, the benefits of utilizing the cloud, such as supporting a remote workforce and updating traditional legacy applications, have been making headlines and encouraging decision-makers to pursue the cloud with new enthusiasm.

    A new InformationWeek survey of 242 organizations with more than 50 employees found that the number of decision-makers claiming the use of functional private cloud services increased 26 percentage points during the past 20 months, growing from 21 percent to 47 percent. Meanwhile, another 30 percent of companies are currently testing private cloud initiatives and applications. This means that hosted phone systems and other crucial solutions are being evaluated to determine whether firms should build their own cloud infrastructure or not.

    Report author Art Wittman highlighted how the results of the increasingly successful private cloud have surprised experts around the world and are much better than any pundits could have ever anticipated. Furthermore, InformationWeek found that the technologies necessary to private cloud success have changed since 2012, which suggests one of two things: Either early adopters were driven by unique needs that are not necessarily relevant today or that the cloud computing landscape has evolved over time and created new opportunities for tackling age-old problems. The report claims that both phenomena are true.

    The Cloud Boon Cometh

    InformationWeek highlighted how there are still some laggard organizations that have yet to adopt the cloud, though these firms only amount to 23 percent of respondents. Still, these companies tend to have at least a somewhat reasonable excuse for not using the cloud, including the fact that some decision-makers have evaluated the hosted services and could not find strong enough reasons to implement the technology. At the same time, however, the term "laggard" instills the sense that these enterprises will likely come around in time, especially as the business world continues to evolve and require the use of more sophisticated and comprehensive technologies.

    Conversely, roughly 64 percent of businesses that are using the cloud either found the technology to be a "complete success" or "very successful," indicating that the hosted services have a high return on investment. Another 36 percent of cloud users said they have had "somewhat successful" results with the cloud while not a single respondent claimed the tools to be unsuccessful or a failure. These lopsided findings indicate that the hosted services are highly advantageous and offer a number of benefits.

    The InformationWeek survey also found some of the specific reasons why enterprises are adopting private cloud services, including that more than half of respondents cited either significant operational or capital cost savings. Meanwhile, another 48 percent said the use of the tools gave them a technical advantage over rival firms. This means that companies using the cloud are more likely to replace old phone systems and other legacy solutions with more innovative and opportunistic services.

    According to the study, the majority of companies rated the cloud as an efficient means of hitting critical IT goals, including more efficient hardware, better scalability and improved reliability. If executives continue to experience these benefits, there is no reason to believe that the use of private cloud services will not increase in the future.

    Today's Promises, Tomorrow's Cloud

    A separate IDC report from earlier this year highlighted how global spending on hosted private cloud services will expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 50 percent between 2012 and 2016 to eventually surpass $24 billion. These platforms are expected to become the new backbone of infrastructure technologies within the business world, allowing organizations to deploy innovative and crucial solutions without encountering significant financial or operational barriers to adoption.

    "Not even the largest technology incumbents can sustain IT market leadership without achieving leadership in cloud services. Quite simply, vendor failure in cloud services will mean stagnation. Vendors need to be doing everything they can - today - to develop a full range of competitive cloud offerings and operating models optimized around those offerings," said Robert Mahowald, research vice president for SaaS and cloud services at IDC.

    As organizations pursue new projects that promise to give them a competitive advantage in today's fast-moving, always-progressing business world, the cloud will continue to top investment priorities. Decision-makers need to consider how they can adopt the cloud and whether doing so will provide their firms with new opportunities for growth and success. While all companies are different and have various objectives, the InformationWeek survey suggests that the private cloud will likely be able to meet those needs and give enterprises the tools they require to prosper and thrive.

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