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Cloud adoption boom fuelling IT transformation - report
Thu, 19th Oct 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Cloud adoption is booming, driving IT transformation in the modern enterprise, with organisations taking advantage of software-defined infrastructure (SDI), containers and DevOps to keep pace with the demands of today's markets.

That's according to the 2017 global study of IT professionals commissioned and released by enterprise open source infrastructure solution provider SUSE.

The study provides insights into what is driving the rapid growth and momentum of new technologies and strategies, and why these are vital to IT professionals looking to support their transformation initiatives as they seek to improve agility, reduce risk and decrease operational expenses.

Insights from the study include:

  • Cloud growth continues with strong shift to hybrid —Cloud technology has matured to the extent that many businesses are adopting a cloud-first or even a cloud-only strategy. Growth is expected to continue for all types of cloud, especially hybrid (66% of respondents) and private cloud (55%), with 36% seeing public cloud growing. More than 60% of respondents cited cost reduction as a reason for cloud adoption, with other reasons being to improve developer and programmer productivity (59%), consolidation of the data center (58%), and improvement of overall business agility and innovation (57%). Private and hybrid models are preferred for business-critical workloads, with 89% of respondents stating they would like to shift from development in public cloud to production in their own private cloud.  
  • SDI is the future — 95% of respondents believe software-defined infrastructure is the future of the data center. These individuals see several business and technology advantages with SDI, including faster delivery of IT resources (65%), simplified data center management (63%), and the enablement of modern IT approaches such as DevOps and hybrid cloud (51%).  
  • DevOps moves from hype to reality — Companies are prioritising a DevOps approach, with 86% of respondents seeing DevOps as part of their future IT strategy. Executing on DevOps successfully can be complex, but SDI can provide the flexible and modular cloud infrastructure ideally suited for a true DevOps approach.  
  • Container adoption continues to gain traction — 27% of companies are currently using containers, with another 44% planning to utilise them in the next 12 months. Many see containers as an enabler for DevOps, as they help organisations better allocate resources, speed up the development of applications and improve reliability and cloud portability.

Skills and experience still a top concern — Nearly three-fourths of organisations are still concerned about the lack of available skillset in the market when moving to cloud, with the same number concerned about the lack of skills within their own organisation. Accordingly, IT leaders say it's important to address and enhance skills in private cloud (97%), hybrid cloud (94%) and analytics (93%), along with emerging areas such as IoT (91%), DevOps (89%), containers (85%) and OpenStack (85%). More than half say the responsibility for developing new IT skills lies with employees rather than the organisation.

With many companies shifting toward private and hybrid cloud solutions, OpenStack is becoming increasingly popular.

Of the companies surveyed, 23% have already deployed OpenStack (up from 15%in 2015).

A total of 82% are using or plan to use OpenStack.

Companies are turning to this open source private cloud technology because of its flexibility, integration opportunities and an opportunity to reduce overall costs.

“Today, every business is a digital business, and adopting a flexible, agile software-defined infrastructure can make the difference between success and failure,” says Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE CTO.

“SUSE's view, borne out by thousands of successful enterprise deployments, is that innovation and adaptability inherent in open source software is ideal for customers who are meeting today's IT requirements while preparing for a successful tomorrow.” The independent market research conducted by Insight Avenue surveyed more than 1,400 senior IT decision-makers in 20 countries across a wide variety of industries.

All respondents work for organisations with more than 250 employees, with 48% representing companies larger than 1,000.