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RightScale Releases 2014 State of the Cloud Report

Public Cloud Adoption Nears 90 Percent on the Journey to Hybrid Cloud

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/02/14 -- RightScale® Inc., a demonstrated leader in enterprise cloud portfolio management, today announced the results of its 2014 State of the Cloud Survey. The survey found that cloud adoption is reaching ubiquity as enterprises increase both public and private cloud adoption, but enterprise governance is lagging. In addition, the survey found as enterprise cloud maturity progresses, cloud security concerns abate and attention increasingly shifts to managing ongoing challenges of compliance, cost management, and performance. The survey also identified significant interest in infrastructure-as-a-service offerings from Microsoft and Google, and a looming face-off between VMware and OpenStack in the private cloud market.

The full results of the survey are available in the RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report at www.rightscale.com/2014-cloud-report.

"Enterprises are adopting cloud computing in record numbers and have leveraged growing experience to overcome many of the early challenges including security," said Michael Crandell, founder and CEO of RightScale. "Large enterprises are complex and understandably deliberate in cloud adoption, yet with increased adoption they continue to unlock more value."

More Cloud Adoption Unlocks More Cloud Value

As it did in 2013, RightScale evaluated responses with a Cloud Maturity Model in order to segment and analyze companies based on their level of cloud adoption.

  • Cloud Watchers are organizations that are developing cloud strategies and plans but have not yet deployed applications into the cloud.
  • Cloud Beginners are new to cloud computing and are working on proof-of-concepts or initial cloud projects.
  • Cloud Explorers have multiple projects or applications already deployed in the cloud.
  • Cloud Focused businesses are heavily using cloud infrastructure.

The 2014 survey echoes a key finding of the 2013 State of the Cloud Report: cloud maturity matters. As organizations adopt cloud more broadly, they realize increasingly more value, and the challenges of adopting cloud decline.

  • Cloud reaching ubiquity: In the 2014 survey, 94 percent of organizations surveyed are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service. 87 percent of organizations are using public cloud.
  • Enterprise adoption matures: Enterprises with more than 1,000 employees have moved beyond the Cloud Watcher stage. In 2014, only 16 percent of respondents were in this early phase, down from 32 percent in 2013.
  • Workloads broaden: As organizations progress in cloud maturity, the types of workloads they deploy in the cloud broaden. Test and development applications top the list, with more than 85 percent of cloud-focused companies deploying them in the cloud. Customer web apps (78 percent), internal web apps (70 percent), batch processing (62 percent), and mobile apps (54 percent) also are deployed in the cloud by a majority of Cloud Focused organizations. Only social apps saw significantly fewer cloud deployments in 2014 at 18 percent (down from 23 percent in 2013).
  • Cloud benefits grow in 2014: The number of respondents reporting benefits from cloud computing grew in 2014 over the previous year in a variety of categories, including higher availability (48 percent, up from 41 percent in 2013), geographic reach (37 percent, up from 32 percent in 2013), cost savings (34 percent, up from 30 percent in 2013), and business continuity (34 percent, up from 28 percent in 2013).
  • Overcoming security with experience: While the benefits of the cloud increase with experience, the challenges of cloud show a sharp decrease as organizations gain expertise with cloud. Security remains the most-often cited challenge among Cloud Watchers (31 percent) but decreases to the fifth most cited (13 percent) among Cloud Focused organizations. As organizations become more experienced in cloud security options and best practices, the less of a concern cloud security becomes. For Cloud Focused respondents, issues that require ongoing attention -- compliance, cost and performance -- are most often cited as challenges.

Next-Generation, Cloud-Based IT Includes Hybrid, DevOps and Self-Service IT

The RightScale 2014 survey found enterprises often have varying combinations of public, private, and hybrid cloud infrastructure, with hybrid and multi-cloud implementations as the end goal for most enterprises. At the same time, two other significant trends are taking hold in corporate technology offices: DevOps and Self-Service IT. Together, these three initiatives -- Cloud, DevOps, and Self-Service IT -- are shaping up as the critical pillars of next-generation IT.

  • Hybrid cloud is the approach of choice : 74 percent of enterprise respondents have a multi-cloud strategy, and 48 percent are planning for hybrid clouds. In addition, 15 percent of enterprises expect to use multiple public clouds, and 11 percent are planning for multiple private clouds.
  • Enterprises progress on hybrid initiatives: Among the 74 percent of enterprises that have a multi-cloud strategy, more than half of those are already using both public and private cloud.
  • Next-generation IT shapes up as Cloud + DevOps + Self-Service IT: Cloud Focused companies are also embracing DevOps (71 percent) and Self-Service IT (68 percent). More than 70 percent of mature cloud users are able to provide self-service access to provision resources in the cloud in under an hour.

Addressing the Challenges Ahead

Although enterprises are progressing in cloud adoption, many have yet to define key elements of their cloud strategy and governance. Less than a third of organizations have defined such critical aspects of governance as which clouds can be used, disaster recovery approaches, and cost management.

  • Defining business value: Just over half of enterprises have defined the business value they want to get from cloud initiatives and security policies for cloud.
  • Defining policies: Only a minority of organizations has defined policies for choosing public or private clouds (36 percent), implementing availability or disaster recovery (32 percent), and managing costs (29 percent).
  • Competing view points of cloud within the enterprise: In addition to current gaps in cloud governance, there are differing views between central IT and technical teams in business units about the role IT plays in the cloud. While central IT envisions a broad role for itself in selecting clouds, setting policies, building a private cloud, and brokering cloud services; respondents in business units see the role of IT as much narrower.

Growing Competition among Cloud Providers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate public cloud adoption, while other vendors and options are quickly gaining interest from cloud users.

  • Public cloud space heating up: AWS adoption is 54 percent - 4x the nearest competitor. IaaS offerings from Google and Microsoft are gaining the interest of cloud users, with Azure leading among enterprises and Google Cloud Platform among small and midsize organizations. Rackspace Public Cloud is second within the SMB segment.
  • Private cloud: The battle among private cloud technologies is shaping up as a clash of cultures between the open-source OpenStack and proprietary solutions from VMware. While 31 percent of enterprise respondents view their VMware vSphere/vCenter environments as a private cloud, OpenStack is well-positioned to unseat VMware in private cloud -- coming in first in interest and second in current usage. Microsoft System Center is waiting in the wings with a strong third position among enterprise users.

Survey Methodology

RightScale conducted its annual State of the Cloud Survey in February 2014. The survey questioned technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations about their adoption of cloud computing. The 1,068 respondents range from technical executives to managers and practitioners and represent organizations of varying sizes across many industries. Respondents represent companies across the cloud spectrum, including both users (28 percent) and non-users (72 percent) of RightScale solutions. Their answers provide a comprehensive perspective on the state of the cloud today.

About RightScale

RightScale® Inc. Cloud Portfolio Management enables leading enterprises to accelerate delivery of cloud-based applications that engage customers and drive top-line revenue while optimizing cloud usage to reduce risk and costs. With RightScale, IT organizations can deliver instant access to a portfolio of public, private, and hybrid cloud services across business units and development teams while maintaining enterprise control. RightScale offers RightScale Cloud Analytics to help bring clarity to organizations on current cloud costs and help model and optimize for future cloud use. RightScale CloudSight consulting helps companies develop cloud strategies, deliver cloud projects, and optimize cloud usage. Since 2007, leading enterprises including Pearson International, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and PBS have launched millions of servers through RightScale.

RightScale is a registered trademark of RightScale, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

PR Contact:
Bret Clement
RightScale PR
Email Contact

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