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Together with and Zenoss, we co-sponsored a survey of over 500 IT professionals to determine the key IT objectives and inhibitors for cloud adoption. Unsurprisingly, the results show that there is an overwhelming amount of interest in cloud computing; 61% of organizations are either working on their cloud strategy or already have one approved. Another 20% have cloud implementations in place already and only 20% have no plans for cloud computing at this point. The survey results also answer some other important questions about the cloud:

Why are companies moving to the cloud?

According to the survey results, the top factor influencing the use of cloud computing is scalability (61%), followed by overall cost savings (54%) and easier management (53%). However, of the Chief Technical Officers surveyed, scalability (71%) was the most popular driver of cloud adoption, followed by elasticity or the need to adjust to fluctuations in resource demands (61%).

In terms of the benefits of cloud computing, hardware savings (68%) took the top spot, with faster deployment of infrastructure (66%) and reducing the burden of systems management (57%) coming in second and third, respectively.

How are companies using the cloud?

The primary applications that respondents run or plan on running in the cloud are websites/content management (57%), document management (39%), networking monitoring/management (34%) and customer relationship management (CRM) (31%).

What are the biggest inhibitors to cloud computing adoption?

The survey responses varied widely depending on the type of company. For privately-held companies, the number one inhibitor to cloud computing adoption was lack of training (43%), with often-cited security coming in second with 30% of respondents indicating it as an inhibitor. For publicly held companies, security and conservative IT policies came in neck-and-neck with around 50% of respondents naming them as inhibitors to cloud computing adoption.

What role does open source play in the cloud?

Open source usage is pervasive among cloud computing users with 69% using open source software whenever possible while only 3% claim not to use open source software at all. All government users indicated some degree of open source usage.

In terms of guest operating systems in the cloud, Linux is the OS of choice, with 83% of IT professionals planning to deploy Linux as a guest operating system. 66% will be deploying Windows OSes in the cloud.

Do companies prefer to use public or private clouds?

The majority of respondents (57%) said that they prefer to host their own hardware. Only 23% said that they prefer to use shared infrastructure at a service provider. Even fewer (18%) said that they prefered to use dedicated hardware at a management service provider.

The above is just a sampling of information gathered in the report. The infographic below provides more information on the adoption of cloud computing and the free report is also available for download.

Cloud Computing Outlook 2011


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