IT executives taking lead role with both private and public cloud projects: survey

Advice from the enterprise trenches: 'Don’t use the term cloud; it’s just marketspeak for a well-designed network.'
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

The role of IT departments and management committees in managing private and public cloud efforts has increased over the past year, reflecting the increasing centralization of cloud efforts within enterprises. IT executives, in particular, are increasingly taking on a leadership role in identifying and managing both internal and external cloud resources for their enterprises.

This was one of the key findings in a new survey of 257 enterprises on cloud adoption trends. The survey, conducted among members of the Independent Oracle Users Group, found that both private and public cloud adoption are up—30% of respondents report having limited-to-large-scale private clouds, up from 24% only a year ago. Another 25% are either piloting or considering private cloud projects. Public cloud services are also being adopted for their enterprises by more than one out of five respondents.

I helped design and publish the survey as part of my work with Unisphere Research (Information Today Inc.). (Full disclosure: the study was underwritten by Oracle.)

This was the second year this survey was conducted. While we expected to see firmer IT involvement in private cloud development and management, it was interesting to see IT managers and departments taking a more proactive role in the use of public cloud services as well. Sixty-seven percent say IT either recommends or has a say in public cloud service deployments. In 37% of the cases, IT has final, absolute say over what services are brought into the enterprise from outside providers.

Another key finding is that cloud services are carrying larger workloads within organizations. A large segment of respondents, 37%, report that they now use or offer between 1 and 10 services through a private cloud. A large segment of organizations adopting public cloud services have replaced applications offered by their own IT departments.

Information technology departments have leadership roles not only in managing and rolling out cloud services, but also in the governance process that dictates the value of these services to their businesses. As frequently discussed here at this blogsite, cloud and all aspects of service oriented architecture require comprehensive governance to achieve business value and orchestration.

And the reason for good cloud governance becomes clear in the fact that organizational—not technical—challenges are making it difficult to achieve their goals with private and public cloud deployments.

I like the advice and perspective one respondent provided us: “Don’t use the term ‘cloud’—it’s just marketspeak for a well-designed network.”

He then advises enterprises to “try a public service first, and create a pilot development project with virtualization of the various pieces, all the way through to implementation at that service. If the results are favorable, then continue with that service and negotiate capacity and other applications there.”

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