Through at least 2012, enterprises will invest more money in private cloud environments, as the public clouds, such as those offered by Amazon and Google, mature, according to Gartner. Eventually those private clouds will leave to greater use of public clouds, and then the creation of hybrid environments. Gartner outlines a number of steps businesses can take now and over the next year to better take advantage of cloud computing.
Enterprises are going to invest more in private cloud
infrastructures over the next couple of years while public cloud
offerings mature, according to Gartner analysts.
During that time-from now until about 2012-businesses need to lay
out a plan for their migration to cloud computing so they are ready to
make the move as the computing model evolves, the analysts said in a
report issued Dec. 1.
Gartner is hosting its annual Data Center Conference in Las Vegas Dec. 1-4.
Private clouds ultimately will be the first step for businesses as
they move into cloud computing. Eventually they will use public clouds
to some degree, and then combine the two to create hybrid cloud
"The hype of cloud computing is that existing IT architectures and
processes can be simply replaced by the cloud," Gartner analyst Tom
Bittman said in a statement. "The reality of the future IT
organization, however, is somewhat a combination. Larger enterprises
will continue to have an IT organization that manages and deploys IT
resources internally, some of which will be -private clouds.' IT
organizations will also take on IT service sourcing responsibility,
determining when to leverage external providers, when to deploy
internally, and when to leverage both for specific services."
Vendors such as Amazon, Google and IBM
offer public cloud services, and more are looking to give businesses
the tools to create private clouds within their own firewalls. There
also is a push on to build offerings that will enable enterprises to
move easily between private and public cloud environments
The key for businesses now is to evaluate which services are
destined for the cloud-private or public-and begin assessing whether
those services can wait for public clouds to mature or should be more
quickly placed into private clouds.
Enterprises also need to understand that not every service is best suited for the cloud, the analysts said.
"Each cloud service will have a different road map for the
future-some should be focused on tighter integration, intimacy
customization and differentiation for the business," Bittman said.
"Others should be focused on independence, easy interfaces,
standardization and eliminated customization and are therefore
potential cloud service candidates."
Businesses need to get people and technologies in place to make the
cloud environments work. For larger enterprises that have skilled IT
help, sourcing teams will make day-to-day decisions around cloud
services that will meet business needs. Smaller companies with fewer
in-house IT resources will more likely use service brokers, which will
take responsibility for these services in the cloud.
Gartner has outlined a three-step action plan for CIOs and IT
professionals to follow to get their businesses ready for cloud
computing. Enterprises should immediately experience with cloud
computing and pull together a cloud initiative that encompasses the
Over the next three months, businesses should determine what
services they will use, develop strategies around private and public
clouds, and assess what new opportunities are arising due to cloud
Over the following year, develop a cloud strategy and create a
dynamic sourcing organization within the company, Gartner analysts said.