Enterprise cloud computing could see explosive growth over the next two years, according to a recent analyst report.
Indeed, 60 percent of respondents to a survey conducted by TheInfoPro said they view cloud computing as a natural evolution of IT service delivery and do not allocate separate budgets for cloud computing projects. Yet, of those that do have separate budgets for cloud computing, 69 percent said they expect their spending to increase in both 2013 and 2014 compared with the prior year.
"As organizations are completing their transition to a virtualized data center infrastructure, their focus is switching rapidly to cloud computing projects," said Peter Ffoulkes, TheInfoPro's research director for cloud computing, in a statement. "Despite this shift of attention and the associated growth opportunity, there are major roadblocks—for the most part, they are not technology related and fall within the domain of people, process, policy and organizational issues, which are more complex for vendors to address."
However, an increase in non-IT roadblocks is slowing the pace of project completion, the study showed. Conducted during the first half of 2013, TheInfoPro study identifies the key cloud computing initiatives of leading organizations while examining market factors and major players. This semi-annual study is based on live interviews with IT professionals and primary decision makers at large and midsize enterprises in North America and Europe.
According to the study, 35 percent of respondents said internal, private cloud projects dominate their cloud-related activity. However, in just the past six months, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) activity has doubled to between 30 percent and 33 percent of the projects mentioned.
Established vendors Microsoft, VMware and Amazon Web Services lead the vendors and technologies listed by respondents, followed by OpenStack, which has gained significant market traction in the past year and looks poised to challenge the existing status quo as the enterprise cloud market develops, the study indicated. However, the cloud market is still a nascent opportunity, the study showed. There is a long list of vendors large and small coupled with open source and other market initiatives that are getting the attention of IT strategists, Ffoulkes said.
Meanwhile, at the cloud technology level, cloud platform/orchestration stacks lead TheInfoPro Heat Index, followed by cloud performance management/monitoring and virtual private cloud-based IaaS as the top new opportunities offering the biggest upside opportunity for vendors in the next two years.
Yet, despite the increased cloud computing activity, 83 percent of respondents said they are facing significant roadblocks to deploying their cloud computing initiatives, a 9 percent increase since the end of 2012. IT roadblocks have declined to 15 percent while non-IT roadblocks have increased to 68 percent of the sample, mostly related to people, processes, politics and other organizational issues.
Regulatory and compliance issues are essentially "pass/fail" criteria for public cloud provider selection, but security remains paramount as the biggest pain point for IT professionals implementing cloud computing projects.