Future of Cloud Survey: Analytics, Big Data Key Services
An annual cloud-focused survey by venture capital firm North Bridge Venture Partners shows that trust in the cloud has increased over the past 12 months, although security remains a major concern. However, more companies are shifting to the cloud to take advantage of its scalability and business agility.
Among survey respondents, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the most common cloud service category, while platform-as-a-service (PaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and hybrid cloud deployments are expected to see large increases. Analytics and Big Data are the two most important services for cloud-based vendors, the survey noted.
North Bridge Partners’ second annual “Future of Cloud Computing” survey was supported by 39 industry collaborators including established leaders, emerging, fast-growth companies and startups such as Amazon, Rackspace, Eucalyptus and Glasshouse. Altogether, an impressive 785 respondents took part in the survey.
Questions centered around key issues influencing cloud computing, such as: drivers for cloud computing, inhibitors, best practices, sourcing, hiring, total cost of ownership (TCO), cloud’s impact on multiple business sectors and emerging cloud technologies. The survey designers sought to gain insights into cloud computing adoption, including the cloud configurations and applications that are forming around specific business needs including Big Data, business continuity, collaboration and storage.
Some of the results of the 2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey:
- Companies’ trust in cloud solutions has grown, with 50 percent of respondents confident that cloud solutions are viable for critical business applications.
- Top two reasons for cloud adoption: scalability, 57 percent, and business agility, 54 percent.
- The main concerns about the cloud are: security, 55 percent; regulatory compliance, 38 percent; and vendor lock-in, 32 percent.
- SaaS is the most common cloud service category, with 82 percent of respondents using it, and 88 percent expecting to use it in five years.
- Respondents expect substantial growth in PaaS and IaaS usage. Currently 40 percent are using PaaS and 72 percent expect to use it in five years. For IaaS, the current figure is 51 percent, rising to 66 percent in five years.
- The four most prevalent “cloud formations” are: backup and archiving, 43 percent; business continuity, 25 percent; collaboration tools, 22 percent; and Big Data processing, 19 percent.
- Forty percent of respondents are have deployed public clouds, and 36 percent have chosen a hybrid approach.
- Fifty-two percent plan to have a hybrid cloud as their primary cloud approach in five years.
- According to vendors, the two most important cloud services to provide are analytics and Big Data
- A majority, 53 percent, believes that cloud computing provides a lower TCO and a less complex IT workflow
- Thirty-eight percent of respondents don’t think the cloud has had any impact on IT hiring.
Last month Microsoft released a survey indicating that SMBs using the cloud see an opportunity to enhance security and save money, while SMBs not using cloud services are concerned about security and the cost of migrating to the cloud. CA Technologies issued a survey as well, showing that data loss continues to affect North American firms and 55 percent of American companies surveyed and 23 percent of Canadian companies plan to use the cloud for business continuity in the coming year. A sense of security was surprisingly robust among respondents — 84 percent for private cloud users and 73 percent for public cloud users.