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BLOG: Cloud adoption's tipping point has arrived

David Linthicum | June 26, 2013
Companies now trust the cloud, so it's time for IT to move from denial and anger to acceptance.

Gartner survey on adoption percentages for cloud services
The relative adoption of various types of cloud services. (Source: Gartner)

"Trusting the cloud to handle sensitive transactions and security services isn't for every enterprise, but organizations from banks to app developers are starting to give it a try," wrote Ellen Messmer at Network World. Indeed, Gartner predicts that the worldwide market for cloud computing will grow 18.5 percent this year to $131 billion.

From an IT perspective, companies adopt cloud services for what we might expect: cheaper and more agile IT resources to support the growth of the business. Gartner's estimates of cloud adoption for 2013 show most of the adoption — for where IT focuses —is of business process as a service, accounting for 28 percent of cloud services in use. SaaS follows at 15 percent. Both are focused on tangible activities for business users. IaaS and PaaS, two types of cloud services that get a lot of attention in the technical press, by contrast get a small share of cloud adoption.

Most enterprises have pushed back on cloud computing due to security concerns; however, that resistance might be coming to an end, given the cloud's clear upward trajectory. A recent surveyin Security Week shows that a number of small and midsize firms improved their security once they moved data and applications to the cloud. That doesn't really square with the fear mentality.

What gives? It's called "acceptance." It's the phase that occurs after the denial and anger stages that enterprises have been going through the past five years.

Although the migration to cloud-based platforms is slow compared to the hype, what has changed pretty quickly is the trust that Global 2000 companies have placed in the cloud. Data has resided in the cloud for years without huge security breaches. Outages occur from time to time, but no recurring patterns are emerging that suggest systemic issues. Indeed, the cloud beats the uptime records of internal IT systems by a large margin. Businesses have clearly figured that out.

The journey to the cloud has moved from interest and study to experimentation, and now it is moving to true production. In the next few years, we'll see the accelerating adoption of cloud computing, though perhaps with less hype.


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