Cloud performance critical for essential operations
Two thirds of IT decision makers think performance is critical for essential operations, says research
Tech4Biz | 12 Jun 2012 :
Two-thirds of IT decision makers see guaranteed cloud performance as critical for essential operations according to research from Alcatel-Lucent.
Concerns about outages top the list of inhibitors to cloud adoption, the research found, but communications service providers are seen as being the most credible and reliable providers of cloud services.
Information technology decision makers identified performance as the most important aspect of cloud solutions needing improvement. Other top concerns cited are security, cost and ease of use, all in a global cloud services market forecasted to grow to $177 billion (€142 billion) by 2015.
The recent market study was conducted among 3,886 IT decision makers at medium and large multinational technology firms in seven countries, including the US, UK, France, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
While the study reveals rapid adoption of cloud services by major enterprises across a variety of market sectors, it also points to shortcomings in current public cloud services, led by risks related to availability and quality of service.
In terms of usage, the survey found that two thirds of IT decision makers do not use the cloud for their essential business applications for fear of service outages, while 46% of those surveyed find current cloud service system delays unacceptable.
One in four respondents complained that there was no simple resolution path when service level agreements (SLAs) are not met and two out of five reported either frequent or lengthy service outages.
The reluctance to embrace the cloud was highest in finance, insurance, healthcare and government sectors - these are industries where performance and security are essential requirements for applications and services, says the survey report.
Despite the relative negativity of the major findings, 44% of the IT departments surveyed were optimistic that the weaknesses in current cloud services will be resolved and expect to expand the use of cloud services over the next three years.
"Not all clouds are created equal," said Dor Skuler, vice president of Cloud Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent. "A typical large enterprise supports between 250 and 750 IT applications, so before it decides to move them to the cloud it must be confident of a smooth migration. It needs to ensure that there are substantial efficiencies to be gained, risks to its operations are minimal, it is easy to use and that that cloud performance is guaranteed with service level agreements. Communications service providers can meet those expectations. By orchestrating and optimising the assets within their networks and the network itself, they can meet the stringent cloud service delivery demands of consumers and businesses."
Trust was cited as one of the most important purchasing factors for IT decision makers in all market sectors. The study found that the dominant network service providers generally fared better than Amazon and Google as a trusted source of cloud services.
Enterprises currently rely upon communications service providers for business communication services which are routinely backed up by guaranteed SLAs. Those established relationships and history of demonstrated performance put communications service providers in a prime position to improve the quality and reliability of enterprise cloud services.
The study found that IT decision makers in all regions are willing to pay for a next-generation, high-performance cloud solution. In fact, a carrier-grade cloud service is four times more attractive to IT decision makers and has the potential to generate ten times more revenue than existing cloud services. But to fully capitalise on this opportunity, service providers must offer an easy to use cloud solution that can support complex network configurations, VPN and other services, as well as guarantee bandwidth and speed of delivery.