Posted Monday, November 28, 2016 by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor
It’s no secret - business cloud utilization is exploding today. In fact, Gartner recently predicted that by 2020, a corporate “No-Cloud” policy will be as rare as a “No-Internet” policy is today.
A new Cisco-sponsored global cloud adoption study just released found further thought-provoking trends in cloud adoption.
The research, spanning more than 6,100 organizations and 31 countries, shows that cloud adoption is going mainstream, however it also found there is still room to grow as only a small percentage of respondents have optimized cloud strategies in place.
The Cisco Business Cloud Advisor, developed in partnership with leading analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), is a program that provides an independently sourced, facts-based framework that organizations can use to continuously improve their multicloud strategies. Through the study, Cisco and IDC can provide concrete guidance on what organizations can do to develop the right cloud environment for their needs.
Enrico Fuiano, Senior Marketing Manager, Cisco Cloud Solutions Marketing, recently chatted with us to talk about the study results, open source, and organizations cloud strategies.
ADM: How do this year’s findings differ from last year’s?
Fuiano: Last year, we found that about 40% of surveyed organizations have already adopted a form of cloud services. In addition, only 1% of surveyed organizations were implementing a truly optimized cloud strategy. This year, we found that cloud adoption – whether it is public, private or hybrid - grew to about 68%. Also, this year we found that about 2.9% of surveyed organizations now have an optimized cloud strategy in place.
In addition, this year we found that revenues per cloud application nearly doubled from $1.6M to $3M. Also, we have noticed growth in custom-developed cloud-native applications that leverage microservices architectures and containers in organizations with mature cloud strategies. This is also the case for utilization of cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) and security applications, which shared similar growth patterns this year.
Finally, it is important to note the distribution of organizations across the maturity curve has shifted to the right. However, room for improvement still remains.
ADM: A key survey finding was that although corporate cloud adoption is growing, few organizations have optimized cloud strategies in place. When organizations begin to build optimized cloud strategies, what critical components will be needed to ensure strategies are architected for success?
Fuiano: IDC’s research has identified obstructions, conflicts and gaps that delay advancement, and they are not all technologically related aspects.
For example, more than 91% of the enterprises without “managed” or “optimized” strategies indicated they struggle with IT and line of business (LOB) misalignment (e.g.., either a process for IT to reach out to LOB or a process to collaborate on defining SLAs). Cloud imposes cross-enterprise organizational and process changes that affect not only IT but every part of the enterprise.
Insufficient monitoring, measurement, and management tools for a range of hybrid cloud environments remains a gap. More than three quarters of enterprises without “managed” or “optimized” strategies indicated they struggle to monitor and optimize cloud resources. For example, enterprises in these stages struggle to impose application and infrastructure standards and reduce the diversity of technologies and management frameworks they typically utilize.
Last but not least lagging processes, procedures and skills. A great example is the need to rebuild accounting systems designed for budgeting fixed IT resources into systems that support metering of resource usage and appropriate chargebacks. Cloud also requires new and specific processes and skills not easily accessible to many IT organizations, such as containers, OpenStack and microservices.
ADM: Regarding mature cloud organizations, what other software development strategies allow these companies to be successful?
Fuiano: Pertaining to mature cloud organizations, the Cisco Business Cloud Advisor program revealed that their use of DevOps, microservices architectures and containers is correlated with advanced cloud strategies. According to survey results, 79% of organizations with optimized cloud strategies perform custom cloud application development using microservices architectures. In addition, 66% of organizations with optimized cloud strategies believe that containers are important to their cloud strategies.
Also, it was found that DevOps is widely used in mature cloud organizations, with 80% of organizations with optimized cloud environments in place have DevOps methodologies for their cloud environments.
ADM: What is the role of open source in optimized cloud strategies?
Fuiano: OpenStack remains top of mind for many of the organizations surveyed, with 59% of cloud adopters viewing OpenStack as an important part of their cloud strategy (via open source and/or commercial distributions). Respondents for whom OpenStack is a more important asset of their cloud strategy had higher expectations for cloud to improve strategic key performance indicators than those for whom OpenStack was less important.
ADM: How will Cisco’s Cloud Professional Services help customers optimize their cloud strategies?
Fuiano: Our Cloud Professional Services connect the unconnected to simplify your Hybrid IT transformation. We help businesses navigate the multicloud maze and bridge the talent gaps they may be facing as they accelerate their digital transformation strategies while adopting DevOps methodologies and abating organizational silos to foster cloud native initiatives.
Specifically, our Professional Services will include:
- New multicloud management and orchestration services for Cisco CloudCenter empowering customers to more securely deploy and manage applications in data center, private cloud, and public cloud environments.
- Enhanced application and cloud migration services to automate and de-risk the complexity involved in onboarding and migrating to the cloud.
- IT transformational services for DevOps focused on DevOps change management initiatives that create a simplified approach enabling customers to integrate and optimize across both environments and teams.
- OpenStack Services As a complement to our OpenStack solution delivered as a service, this customer-managed solution is designed and deployed by Cisco experts to the customized OpenStack needs of our customers. This includes a production ready private cloud for IaaS on Cisco UCS.
- PaaS Advisory and Implementation Services - This solution includes both advisory and implementation services to streamline customers’ journey to Cloud Native Applications. This includes workload discovery and analysis, code assessment, data migration, and deployment and performance monitoring of the PaaS Solution.
- A future, integrated Cisco DomainTen and Cisco Business Cloud Advisor Workshop offering to help organizations continuously improve their multicloud environments and facilitate alignment between IT and LOB stakeholders.
ADM: Any other survey takeaways you feel may be beneficial for developers?
Fuiano: Developers want to build and deploy apps faster and with less hurdles. However, transforming IT to support DevOps and microservices approaches requires significant transformations. Leveraging the tools of Business Cloud Advisor and Cisco Cloud Professional Services can empower organizations to simplify and accelerate their Hybrid IT transformations.
Additionally, Cisco Cloud Professional Services has developed a Center of Excellence for PaaS solutions that leverages Cisco’s investment and leadership in open source around PaaS (Mantl, Contiv and Project Shipped). Our investment focus in this area is enhanced with the recently announced acquisition of ContainerX.
More importantly, the culture of the organization as a whole and the willingness to try new approaches while relentlessly improving their environment remain critical success factors for organizations looking to improve their cloud strategy. Skillsets are very important and in demand (e.g., OpenStack), but to be successful, organizations have to embrace policies, processes and tools that can keep pace.