Cloud Adoption Limited but Poised to Grow: Gartner

Although the use of cloud services is growing faster than the overall enterprise IT market, it is still a small part of overall IT spending.

Just 38 percent of all organizations use cloud services, according to a survey of 651 organizations across nine countries performed by IT research firm Gartner. However, 80 percent of organizations said they intend to use cloud services in some form within 12 months, including 55 percent of those not doing so today.

The results revealed that although the use of cloud services is growing faster than the overall enterprise IT market, it is still a small part of overall IT spending. The objective of the survey was to better understand how organizations are shifting from the use of traditional technology products to new technology delivered as cloud services and to understand end-user organizations' use of external service providers for IT services, Gartner explained.

"Given that the use of cloud services currently constitutes only a very small part of the vast enterprise IT market, strategic planners should not make the mistake of taking current cloud use cases to be predictors of future cloud use," Gregor Petri, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "Cloud computing is set to have a considerable impact on business in the future, which is reflected in the survey finding that around 60 percent of organizations plan increased investment over the next two years to five years, while only 6 percent plan to decrease investments in cloud services."

The report noted the market potential of the use case is an important factor in the adoption of cloud computing. In some cases, highly critical and complex applications may actually be the first to be moved to cloud computing, especially if those applications are broadly used and thus form an attractive provider opportunity. This wide variety of timelines and approaches leads to a complex reality, with many different resource requirements, benefits, profiles and potential outcomes, all needing to be individually planned, managed and monitored.

Gartner analysts highlighted three key factors that will significantly impact enterprise cloud use in the near to midterm, including the fact that the road to increased cloud usage will be through tactical business solutions addressing specific problems, not through broad, strategic infrastructure replacements. The second factor is the reality that the business impact of cloud services increases as they continue to move up the cloud services value chain, from infrastructure services to business process services.

The final factor impacting enterprise cloud use is that the introduction of cloud solutions will lead to a more diverse solution portfolio with widely varying implementation and migration timelines. Individual applications can be rehosted to run on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), recoded or recompiled to run on platform-as-a-service (PaaS), replaced with corresponding software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, or the business process can be resourced altogether.

"While rehosting, recoding or recompiling existing applications to run on IaaS or PaaS cloud services may have limited impact on the rest of the organization, replacing existing applications with higher level cloud services will have a much bigger impact on the way enterprises organize their business processes to serve their customers," Petri said. "The impact becomes even larger once companies start to explore the new possibilities cloud services offer to reimagine the way they service their customers. This reimagining can entail replacing traditional offerings with completely digital services and products."