The more you do it, the better it gets. That's the message from the RightScale 2013 State of the Cloud Report. The just-released survey of 625 people in development, IT and business roles showed that as organizations embrace more cloud services and applications, the benefits and values promised by cloud computing increase.
"So the more you adopt cloud, the more it adopts the value of cloud," RightScale CEO and founder Michael Crandell told Talkin' Cloud.
As Crandell noted, that isn't a truism across the IT spectrum, but based on the survey results, it's certainly true of cloud computing. Many technologies get more complicated as they are embraced on a larger scale, but with cloud, the survey showed that complication actually goes down—and so too does the stress level of the end users.
The only missing piece of data is how many of those mature adopters are using cloud management tools of some sort, but it's a question RightScale didn't ask. The closest data point is that 30 percent of respondents identified themselves as RightScale customers.
The survey was conducted over a fairly even split of cloud maturity models, which RightScale dubbed cloud watchers (those in the planning stages—17 percent), cloud beginners (first project on the go—26 percent), cloud explorers (apps are running—23 percent) and cloud focused (heavy users—26 percent). Only 8 percent said they had no plans to use cloud.
What RightScale found is from cloud beginners to the cloud-focused, the benefits increased considerably. At the same time, respondents at companies with a more mature cloud strategy noted that the challenges had been reduced significantly over the cloud beginners. It does make sense that as a company uses a technology it gets easier to deal with, but as Crandell noted, that's not always the case.
Some of the top benefits reported by survey respondents included faster access to infrastructure, greater scalability, faster time to market with apps and higher availability. No surprises there. It seems that in many ways, cloud adopters are achieving the benefits they are hoping for when they first make the decision to adopt cloud computing models.
That's not to say there isn't room for improvement, of course. Kim Weins, RightScale's vice president of Marketing, explained that as organizations adopt more cloud services, they are more prone to suffering from outages. The good news, though, is that the average outage time decreases as companies move from testing the waters to becoming heavy users. Still, the average outage time for a cloud focused organization is in the four-hour range—a touch high to be acceptable.
"There's some additional room for improvement because we're still seeing outages in the four-hour range with cloud focused," Weins said.