When it comes to cloud, we’ve come a long way in three short years. Back in the stone age of 2011, cloud was this promising but relatively novel way to access services on a subscription basis. Only a handful of organizations used cloud services in a big way at the time. Now, it seems unusual if an enterprise is not using cloud services for some critical enterprise function.
A new survey of 1,358 executives confirms that cloud has passed the tipping point and is now used, basically, everywhere that matters. The study, a joint effort between North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOm Research, finds record numbers of enterprises have adopted the three primary levels of cloud computing — infrastructure, platform and software as a service (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS). And many are recognizing the potential impact on the direction of their businesses. This is the fourth year the survey was conducted.
Adoption of SaaS has grown from 13% in 2011 to 72% this year — a five-fold increase. IaaS has grown from 11% in 2011 to 56% this year, and PaaS grew from from 7% to 41%. SaaS is delivery of applications over the cloud, IaaS is the compute and storage resources, and PaaS is development tools and middleware.
Cloud adoption is also increasingly growing strategic, the survey finds. Almost half of respondents, 49%, report they are using cloud to support revenue generation or new product creation. Another 45% of businesses say they already, or plan to, run their company from the cloud.
This strategic approach is accompanies by hybrid cloud, in which public and private cloud services are integrated — such as on-premises databases feeding information to public SaaS applications. The survey reports hybrid cloud approaches are already well-established in a large swath of enterprises: 55% of respondents expect to have hybrid cloud in place within the next two years, up from 42% today. Most of this growth will come out of private cloud sites adopting public services: private cloud usage will decline from 24% to 13% during this same time. In addition, enterprises predict 44% growth in their use of hybrid cloud over the next five years.
Big data is now coming to the cloud, the survey finds. Two-thirds of respondents believe their data will come to reside in some form of cloud over the next two years as bigger data needs consolidation, and collaboration and creation go online.
(Disclosure: the author has a consulting affiliation with GigaOm Research, mentioned in this post.)