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Sarah de Castro By Sarah de Castro • August 12, 2017

IaaS adoption: how reality meets high expectations.

Does cloud infrastructure live up to the hype?

Is Cloud infrastructure the only modus operandi in the future business world? Will your data center disappear completely when you move to the cloud? Will your IT team get progressively smaller? Will a new emphasis on flexibility and scalability trickle down, to impact the very fabric of your business model?  And despite some of the best marketing in the world ;) why are some companies still not biting?

A report recently released by TechPro looks at the expectations vs. the experience of companies that adopted, planned to or decided against cloud infrastructure over the last four years*.

The key findings of the report are as follows:

  • 25% reported IT staff reductions.
  • 85% reported  IT staff levels stayed the same or were retrained for other duties following the shift,
    • Amazon,
    • Microsoft
    • VMware 
  • Top three preferred vendors:
    • payment processing,
    • messaging and collaboration systems,
    • database operations and customer relationship management.
  • The most common business elements moved to IaaS:
    • 1) uncertainty about the value it may bring
    • 2) no justifiable business need
    • 3) concerns about systems, applications, or data ownership.
  • The top reasons given by the 35% of companies surveyed that don’t plan to use IaaS:
  • 37% reported a reduction in  their data centers size following IaaS implementation,
  • 31% reported no difference.
  • 37% reported no change in IT budget following IaaS, while the remaining respondents reported equal amounts budget increases and decreases.

For those who did make the leap into the cloud, the gap between expectations and reality is nicely illustrated in this chart:


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It’s hard not to notice the very sizable gap between what companies hoped for and what they experienced in terms of both Improved Infrastructure Elasticity ; Better Uptime and ; Improved Response to Hardware Failure. The report names improved infrastructure elasticity as the number one reason companies give for implementing IaaS, so stakes were high, thus it may not be surprising that reality fell short of key expectations, but it’s a great reality check for companies embarking on their IaaS journey.

While, “better system uptime; decreased costs; and improved performance/failure recovery processes”, were dubbed the “solid and concrete objectives which companies have realized through their IaaS investments,” these aspects also fell short of what companies were hoping for following IaaS adoption. While the gap between experience and what was hoped for isn’t massive, it’s interesting to note the trend for these key indicators leans towards under, rather than, over performance.

But to be fair, reality, as well as disappointing, also surpassed expectations: Looking down the chart Faster Time to Market is reported as much better than expected. This is a pretty massively important aspect in today’s business world. This positive point mirrors TechPro’s overall finding that “Satisfaction levels from anIaaS implementation rank high, with 76% of respondents rating themselves extremely satisfied or somewhat satisfied.”

This article is based on the findings presented in the report: IaaS Research: The State of IaaS in the Enterprise 2017.Copyright ©2017 by CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

*The report was based on surveyes conducted at end 2016 on 190 respondents principally executive or IT mangement working at technology companies in the US and Europe.