In Cutter’s latest survey, we asked respondents to tell us what they are doing with cloud computing. The vast majority (87%) are looking into cloud computing or already doing something with the cloud. Only 13% are doing nothing at all.
To dig deeper in the realm of the cloud, we also asked respondents to describe the extent their organizations are pursuing software as a service (SaaS), process as a service (PRaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). As you might expect, most of the focus is on SaaS, with 58% already doing something (i.e., early experimentation, implementation planning, and already launched) and another 30% gathering information. Only 11% are doing nothing at all.
The other three cloud services are much less active overall than SaaS, but each is being looked at by 54% or more of the respondents. PRaaS is the least-active service with 46% doing nothing at all in this area. PaaS comes next with 30% doing nothing. Yet the compelling issue here is that all services have substantial activity from our respondents. If you take the three most-active categories (i.e., early experimentation, implementation planning, and already launched), the results reveal 26% for PRaaS, 35% for PaaS, and 43% in IaaS.
When examining the differences between large and small companies, the small companies appear to be further along. Nearly 30% of small company respondents report that they have already launched some form of cloud computing services, while large company respondents report only 19%. This is another indication that small companies are more aggressive in outsourcing because they find it more cost-effective than hiring full-time staff.
Looks like cloud computing is here to stay. We may not yet have year-over-year trending data in this area, but these early numbers suggest that a comment made by Dennis Adams in last year’s CBR on IT trends is actually happening: “We would expect in 2010 and beyond that the use of SaaS in conjunction with other cloud computing and cloud storage architectures will increase” (Adams, Dennis A. “Peering Through the Economic Fog: IT Managers Taking Steps Toward Value Creation.” Cutter Benchmark Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2010).
CFOs and other executives like the “pay for usage” concept provided in cloud computing services, and so do I. In discussing this with IT managers and executives from all parts of the world who attend my program at the IT Manager Institute, I can tell you that most report they are already using cloud services in some form in their companies or are planning to start. I’m seeing anything from augmenting infrastructure resources to completely outsourcing the data center in addition to the usual SaaS approach.
So your future may not actually be “in the cloud,” but the cloud will probably be in your future in one way or another.