Tactical to strategic: The changing approach to cloud adoption

The economic benefits of cloud are no longer the sole reason why enterprises are moving their applications into the cloud.

Platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are two key approaches that enterprises in Australia and globally are taking as they shift into the cloud, according to Citrix.

Chalan Aras, Citrix vice president and general manager of CloudBridge product group, said there have been steady movements into the cloud in the past year, and it has been particularly evident in smaller companies.

"We're seeing more adoption in the lower end of the market, with customers that have very small datacentres who are saying this a more convenient way for them," he said.

"At the high end of the market with enterprises, we're seeing extermination of pockets. We've seen in the last year a truly great movement where businesses are trying to understand how to move certain applications into the cloud, and we think that trend is going to accelerate."

On the local front, Australian enterprises are making significant adoption plans for PaaS, but, according to Aras, they're facing a "unique challenge" that could potentially impede on how fast they move their applications into the cloud. He hinted that Australia needs to find more cost-efficient networking capabilities in order for businesses to be able to deliver applications from the cloud to physical locations.

"One unique thing about Australia is you're a very large country with vast distances, so the key component people sometimes forget about cloud adoption is the users are not changing where they use their applications.

"While applications are moving to the cloud, users are still in their offices, in remote offices, in branch locations, so you still have to get the application from the cloud to the users, and I think in the Australian market, that's a particular challenge because of the vast distances that you have around the country.

"I think that is a unique attribute of the Australian market that helped applications in the cloud to the users is going to have to be solved in a cost-effective manner; otherwise, adoption of the cloud might be slower or might be for applications that are not as critical," he said.

Aras said that unlike the earlier days of cloud adoption — where moving in the cloud was mainly tactically driven by the economic benefits of being able to obtain compute resources so easily and cheaply — enterprises are now taking a more strategic approach to it.

"It's hard to imagine it changing or reversing itself in the sense that the convenience offered by the cloud is hard to match internally," he said.

"What may change is initially, it was for tactical convenience, and there was talk around it being less expensive, but I don't think the expensive factor is going to remain a high factor going forward; I think that factor will decline over time. I think it's the flexibility and the ability to grow resources that will keep the motion going in the migration to the cloud."