Enterprises Prefer Private Clouds: Survey

Cloud investments continue on the upswing with organizations tallying an average investment of $1.5 million, up 10 percent from last year.

Adoption of cloud models is moving into a mature stage as more organizations expect to transition key IT operations to the cloud over the next five years, with private cloud deployments leading the way. Today, 61 percent of organizations have at least a portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud, according to an IDG Enterprise cloud computing report.

Although many enterprises are still trying to identify IT operations that are good candidates for cloud hosting, cloud investments are up compared with last year, increasing by 10 percent for an average investment of $1.5 million, said IDG. Based on 1,358 survey respondents, a key finding shows that 29 percent of companies expect that the majority of IT operations—with the exception of financial and compliance applications—will be in the cloud in the next five years.

The report also reveals that cloud computing capabilities that align with a company's business strategy are driving investments, led by enabling business continuity (43%) and improving customer support and services (43%). Other key drivers include increasing flexibility to react to changing market conditions (40%) and reducing resource waste (40%), IDG found.

The three big issues around the discussion of a private cloud versus a public cloud continue to be cost, speed and security. The biggest benefit for implementing a private cloud is the lower total cost of ownership (TCO) because companies are optimizing existing infrastructure compared to purchasing new servers, said IDG.

With lower TCO as the driver, private cloud deployment is the big winner among enterprises. According to survey respondents, 69 percent of organizations have a portion of their IT environment in the cloud, and 59 percent believe that the private cloud will yield higher cost savings.

In comparison, 59 percent have a portion of their IT environment in the public cloud and 28 percent in community cloud. The key advantage for a public cloud is speed of deployment, followed by capex savings and lower TCO, IDG found.

An earlier study conducted by QuinStreet also indicates that the private cloud is the most popular deployment model. The research found that 36 percent of respondents are now running a private cloud, with 29 percent planning to use a private cloud.

"Private cloud models continue to maintain the largest footprint," Bob Melk, senior vice president, group publisher and CMO of IDG Enterprise, said in a statement. "However, the different factors that contribute to these decisions continue to evolve. The sensitivity of compliance, security management as well as cultural implications and total cost of ownership is driving each organization to evaluate their risk tolerance with unique business needs in order to execute their optimal cloud strategy."

The key influencers behind the move to the cloud are IT departments, with 80 percent of cloud purchases made within the IT department, IDG found. In cases where purchases are made by non-IT departments, the cloud investments transition to IT because of security concerns (65%), technology problems (64%) and the need for standardization (48%).

There is still room for growth, with 59 percent of organizations still evaluating additional IT operations that can potentially migrate to the cloud. This poses opportunities for new partnerships with solution providers as long as they address security and organizational savings, according to IDG.

Fifty percent of the organizations believe securing information assets stored in the cloud is a shared responsibility between themselves and their cloud providers, IDG found. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat confident in the security of their own information in the cloud, compared to 18 percent who said they weren't very or not at all confident.

Hostway, a provider of cloud, managed and hybrid hosting services, released a study that looks at attitudes toward public cloud versus in-house hosting services. A key finding shows that 62 percent of survey respondents believe key services, including Web servers, database servers, email services, CRM and other collaboration software, are more secure in a public cloud environment.

The survey, which was conducted at the 2013 Cloud Expo East, found that 80 percent of participants rated public cloud services more scalable than their in-house hosting, and that 73 percent of respondents preferred cloud hosting to in-house services based on performance.

"We've noticed a trend toward greater acceptance of public cloud hosting services over the past year," Aaron Hollobaugh, Hostway's vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "Organizations that were previously hesitant are now moving larger, more robust database workloads into the public cloud environment, and we're seeing rising demand for hybrid or public cloud installations from companies that previously used more traditional managed hosting services."