If only experience could be bottled and sold, rather than having to be earned. Actually, cloud computing is, in a way, the bottling and packaging of information technology experience. But still, even with something so nicely pre-packaged as cloud, there is still a learning curve that must be climbed. The good news is that cloud has been around long enough that there is now a class of seasoned veterans who can show the way.
A new survey finds that roughly one out of four organizations are heavily into cloud computing, and they are providing lessons from which everyone else can benefit. For example, after a couple of years, its promised benefits do begin to show up.
That’s the story behind RightScale’s latest “State of the Cloud” survey (second annual). The survey of 625 companies finds cloud is just about commonplace — only eight percent of respondents wanted nothing to do with cloud at all. And bigger enterprises are now the leading adopters of cloud.
RightScale even went a step further and introduced a ” Cloud Maturity Model” that shows where everyone stands with cloud:
- Cloud Watchers are developing cloud strategies and plans but have not yet implemented cloud projects. (17 percent of respondents).
- Cloud Beginners are new to cloud computing and are working on proof-of-concepts or first projects (26 percent).
- Cloud Explorers have implemented some cloud projects and are running applications in the cloud. (23 percent).
- Cloud-Focused respondents are heavily using cloud computing and using it as a strategic initiative to transform business. (26 percent).
This model doesn’t include the eight percent of non-cloud users — I guess they aren’t even cloud watchers.
In addition, RightScale reports, survey respondents continued to show a strong interest in “multi-cloud” strategies, with plans to evaluate and use a broad range of public and private cloud options — not just one approach.
Consider the lessons learned as cloud users climb the maturity curve:
- Only 18 percent of the advanced cloud users (cloud-focused) see security and compliance as a challenge, versus 38 percent of the greenhorns.
- Eighty percent of the advanced-level respondents are seeing faster time to market for applications, versus 25 percent of the beginners.
- A total of 87 percent of advanced respondents report that they were gaining faster access to infrastructure, compared to 30 percent of beginners.
- Experienced cloud companies don’t necessarily have fewer outages, and they’re shorter in duration. because of greater exposure to cloud, 57 percent of the veterans had an outage in 2012, compared to 32 percent of the novices. But the length of an outage at an experienced site was 4.6 hours, compared to 5.8 hours at the beginner companies.
- Still, about 65 percent of the experienced companies reported higher system availability, compared to 20 percent of the novices.