A survey of cloud decision makers at large enterprises in North America found that 52 percent of those polled said that internal change and learning was the leading roadblock to cloud project success, pointing to possible pent-up demand for advisory services, as users struggle with the change brought on by the cloud.
According to the study, conducted by TheInfo Pro, a division of the 451 Group, other project roadblocks included upfront cost (15 percent) and security (13 percent). Cost reduction (68 percent) is the leading justification for implementing cloud services, followed by increased flexibility/scalability (24 percent) and reduced complexity (21 percent), also key drivers toward the cloud.
"The cloud market is at an inflection point right now, and it's critical to understand the opportunities for as well as barriers to adoption and growth," said Ken Male, managing director and founder of TheInfoPro. "In this study, we've applied TheInfoPro's voice-of-the-customer research methodology, and we've got the right combination of cloud analysis and underlying data from large IT organizations to give a clear picture of where the cloud market is heading."
A majority (75 percent) of respondents said that they have virtualized their cloud servers. However, few have currently implemented the core management, automation and orchestration functionality, which are all cornerstones to the enablement of truly flexible, agile and cost-effective internal cloud solutions. VMware continues to be the primary vendor selected for cloud-enablement projects. For internal or private IaaS (infrastructure as a service) projects, 37 percent of interviewees said that VMware is their primary cloud-enablement provider.
"2011 continues to be the year of the internal cloud. Most organizations are increasing the efficiency and agility while lowering the cost of their internal IT assets", said Sean Hackett, research director for cloud at TheInfoPro. "Because of the cloud's economics and speed of deployment and flexibility, by and large many initiatives are in-fact additive enabling organizations to drive projects that they otherwise weren't able to in the past. Vendor and service providers will need to watch closely as the resulting shift will present opportunities and perils for both incumbents and emerging providers."
The cloud study, completed biannually, is based on hour-long interviews with cloud decision makers at large enterprises in North America. Key sections of the report include cloud drivers and inhibitors, cloud budgets, decision-making and service delivery model preferences, service management and orchestration, and vendor preferences. A sampling of vendors covered in the vendor performance and technology roadmap components of the study include VMware, Salesforce, HP, IBM, Rackspace, Savvis, Verizon, Citrix, AT&T, Successfactors, Cisco, Oracle, Amazon, Dell, EMC, Microsoft, CSC, Joyent and Google.