Cloud Applications and Expectations – Survey Results, Part 3

Posted on September 03, 2013 by Adam Burnham

We’re back again with the final installment in our series about the cloud research we conducted, which looked at how IT managers felt about the cloud and whether they’ve begun welcoming it into their organizations. Installments part one and two are available here and here.

In today’s post, we’ll wrap things up by looking at what applications companies are running – and what they’d like to be running.

(5) We asked for respondents to “list the top 3 examples of mission critical business processes and applications approved for running in the cloud at your organization”

There were a variety of responses to this question – but a few key areas were repeated on everyone’s survey: email, backup (storage), CRM, voice, security.

The top four responses, in fact, were email with 41%, backup with 17%, CRM with 14% and HR with 10%. Several other areas were tied at 7% a piece, including development, voice, security, databases and disaster recovery.

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This tells us that companies have begun to feel confident moving some critical business applications – email and storage, namely – to the cloud. This is in line with the previous results from our survey, showing improved confidence in cloud computing.

As cloud computing and hosting become more secure, gaining all of the redundancy of an in-house system, plus greater feature sets and lower costs, IT managers will bring even more applications to the cloud.

Next we asked about what applications respondents felt should be provided in the cloud:

(6) We asked respondents “what are the top 4 cloud services you believe should be provided by your organization's cloud provider?”

The top responses were very IT-department focused, as you can imagine. 69% of respondents said they wished backup and archiving services were provided in the cloud. Just behind that was business continuity and disaster recovery, with 59% listing this as a top application they’d like to see in the cloud.

The next two highest were email with 38% and infrastructure monitoring with 34%. Others of note were storage with 24%, file sharing with 21%, site monitoring with 17% and collaboration with 14%.

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Lastly, for some fun, we asked respondents to take a look into the future at what they felt the future of cloud computing would bring.

(7) We asked “what are the top 4 software/hardware categories most likely to be disrupted by cloud computing…and which are the 4 least likely to be disrupted?”

Respondents were very consistent with what they felt were most likely to disrupt – and what they felt were most likely to fizzle, with the same responses repeated on many submissions.

The five that respondents felt were most likely to be forever changed by the advent of cloud computing were CRM (52%) and connectivity applications (52%), followed by ERP (38%), application development (34%) and big data (34%).

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The five that respondents indicated would not change all that much with the advent of the cloud were operating systems, with 52% of the vote, mobile and big data, both coming in separately at 38%, office productivity with 34% and point of sale activities with 34% as well. Obviously, respondents don’t know exactly what to make of big data yet, as it’s both the 5th most likely to be disrupted and the 3rd least likely to be affected.

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Well, that brings our research review to a close. We hope you enjoyed this quick look at what some of your coworkers and comrades have been thinking about cloud computing and the industry.

The major findings of this survey were that attitudes toward cloud computing have indeed changed. It’s been a slow process, but the cloud has gained acceptance and is being looked to by IT managers as a critical component of their IT strategies moving forward. IT managers need reassurance that their cloud provider partner can keep their information safe and available all the time – and as they get these reassurances and see how the cloud can improve their organizations, naturally we will see more and more become cloud-enabled.

Since the research was conducted and analyzed in early 2013, and Markley Cloud Services was launched, we’ve seen great traction that proves the survey was on the mark – the cloud has gone from something to take a chance on to a strong, strategic element of any business. In fact, we’ve seen more and more customers and prospects no longer have to convince their bosses of the need for the cloud – now they’re having to prove that the infrastructure their cloud will be built on and the center where their data is housed is top-of-the line and has all of the modern protections (security, redundancy) needed.

Did you find this helpful? Interesting? Have ideas for the next round of research? Drop us a line or leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.