The Cloud in Your Organization – Survey Results, Part 1

By Jeff Flanagan | August 7, 2013

When we were planning for the general availability launch of our Markley Cloud Services solution earlier in the year, we wanted to get a handle on what IT managers felt about cloud computing – what they were using, what they were staying away from and everything in between. We never made the results of this survey public – until now.

As we were thinking of what would make a good blog post, we decided to take a look back at this late 2012/early 2013 look at cloud trends – and we saw that there was indeed some good information that could be shared with you all. We thought this would give folks an idea of what the prevailing thoughts were in relation to cloud computing as 2013 began.

In today’s post, we’ll take a look at the first third of these results, focused around what solutions are currently being used by IT managers at the small and medium-sized businesses and larger enterprises that make up our current customer base.

(1) One of the first things we wanted to know was “what is the emphasis of your cloud strategy – now and three years from now?”

The majority of our respondents (38%) were currently using a private cloud strategy, closely followed by 31% who replied that they were using a mix of public, private and hybrid. 17% said they were using a hybrid strategy now, while only 4% of respondents were using just a private cloud strategy. Given that the term hybrid cloud typically refers to a mix of private and public, we can safely say that today a whopping 48% of respondents are using a hybrid strategy.

We also asked what respondents expected to be using three years from now – and it is clear that those that are currently using a hybrid strategy plan to continue along that path, and that the rest of the respondents plan to start implementing hybrid cloud strategies as well. 41% said they’d be using a mix and another 41% said they’d use hybrid, making 82% of respondents predict that the hybrid cloud would be in use (if it already wasn’t) three years from now. Only 10% expected to be using the private cloud exclusively, and 8% said just that they’d be remaining with their current system (whatever that may be).

The conclusion to be drawn is that in the next few years, IT managers are clearly moving away from strategies that rely only on public cloud or only on private cloud models and are embracing the hybrid approach. 

(2) Following that up, we asked “what types of cloud computing technologies is your organization using?”

The responses fell into three buckets – “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),” “Platform as a Service (PaaS),” and “Software as a Service (SaaS).” We asked them to identify what they were using today, and what they’d be using three years from now.

We found that, while 38% were using SaaS today, some 45% of respondents were using a mix of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Only 14% were solely using IaaS, and 3% were using none of the above. Three years from now, all but a handful of respondents will be using a mix of these technologies (83%), with the most popular mix being all three (52% of that group).

The trend shows that IT managers will be looking for a mix of all three types of solutions at their organizations.

(3) The next question we asked was “what type of virtualization technology is your organization using today?”

62% of respondents said that they are using VMware technology today, while 8% were using Hyper-V and only 3% using XenServer.

24% of those given the survey responded that they were using more than one solution right now – with 57% of that group using a combination of VMware and XenServer, 29% using a combination of VMware and Hyper-V and 14% using all three. 3% said they were using none of the above.

VMware is clearly the big winner here.

The main takeaways from this research is that IT managers have become much more comfortable with the cloud in general – and as a result, are starting to move away from closed-off private cloud models to see the cost savings and performance benefits that hybrid cloud models can bring an organization.

Next week we’ll take a look at hosting the cloud and what our surveyed IT managers felt about that.