Cloud Computing Growth Continues Apace

By: Larry Loeb | 7 November 2016

The Register's newly published cloud-computing adoption survey, "Cloud Going Mainstream: All Are Trying, Some Are Benefiting; Few Are Maximizing Value," is the second one it has produced, but may change perceptions of what businesses are doing now.

The survey was global in scope, involving 6,100 organizations in 31 countries, and found 68 percent of those who responded were using public, private or a hybrid cloud setup in their IT portfolio. This number suggests the cloud has gone mainstream as far as businesses are concerned, and the result reflects a 60-percent jump in cloud computing growth compared to the 42 percent that responded the same way to the question in 2015.

The survey also found certain companies (about 3 percent of the total respondents) had optimized their computing mix for the cloud and were using that mix to get results. The companies reported this hybrid usage gave them a "superior business outcome."

Performing to 'Scale'

Variably sizing a computing load allows the cloud to scale more freely with the enterprise, and is its main differentiator compared to in-house data centers. With cloud, the needed computing power can be applied to the problem at hand, even if more resources are needed for that problem. Scaling up to meet that variable need can be a very capital-intensive task for an in-house data center, but just requires a request for the computing resources when performed in the cloud.

The Cost of 'Computing'

One does not have to invest much capital in the cloud to meet the demands of the most compute-hungry situations. Considering those resources can sit unused when not needed, cloud-based computing will give the IT department a much cleaner budget process as well. In a public cloud, for instance, they'll only pay for the computing, networking and storage they need at a particular time. They don't have to carry around the high-compute resources on their budget until they need them. Those 3 percent of hybrid computing mixer respondents may also be using this technique to get their superior business results.

It's important to note that a business may speak of computing without fully understanding that in-house, cloud and hybrid are really differing forms of that computing - and therefore computing is not yet synonymous with cloud. Assumptions that are involved in one version of this overall effort, like the scalability of a cloud, may not be valid for certain data practices that deserve in-house attention (what TechTarget playfully calls "local, under-our-control computing"). Imagine computing as one big entity without considering what concrete form it ends up taking, and it comes out too simplistic. Each element of the computing trail has its own landmarks where it can make camp.

Some 2017 Predictions for Cloud Computing Growth

Gartner predicts $204 billion worth of IT spending that would have been spent on hardware will shift to the cloud this year. Additionally, they expect that amount to increase to $216 billion by 2020. Serious money is being spent on the cloud way of computing.

The "2017 Spiceworks State of IT" report that just came out showcases Spicework's current thinking. In it, they suggest IT pros told them that the allocations for tech spending would stay flat in the next year, despite that 60 percent of those IT pros expected that their company revenue would increase in 2017.

This need to do more with the same resources may be a potent push for cloud computing. Indeed, Spiceworks predicts that in 2017 global spending on hardware and software projects will decrease by 2 percent, but that the budget for cloud-based services will increase by 3 percent. Cloud paths will be more prevalent in computing of the future, if Spiceworks has gotten it right.

The budget money has moved to the cloud. Now, IT must learn how to optimize what it is they'll use the cloud for - linking together the logical services the enterprise uses, similar to linking hardware printer ports to really get some savings at scale going. Being able to scale the variable processing power that those logical services require through cloud computing - not just "computing" - can only help navigate performance and budgetary constraints.

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