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Enterprise expectations about how fast they can start moving applications and workloads off-premises could be too high, according to research firm Gartner.
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The warning follows the market watcher’s prediction that the public cloud services market will grow by 17.2% in 2016 to $208.6bn, up from $178bn last year.
The Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market, of which Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google are all major participants, will account for most of this, with Gartner predicting growth in the region of 42.8%.
Meanwhile, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) section of the cloud market is forecast to grow 21.7% in 2016, with spend tipped to reach $38.9bn.
But despite these predictions, Gartner said there are still a large number of enterprises with no public cloud adoption strategy.
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Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, said organisations that embrace public cloud are able to shave around 14% off their annual IT spend.
“There’s no question there is great appetite within organisations to use cloud services, but there are still challenges for organisations as they make the move to the cloud,” said Nag.
“Even with the high rate of predicted growth, a large number of organisations still have no current plans to use cloud services.”
In many cases, Nag added, the “aspiration for using cloud services outpaces actual adoption”.
Security and privacy concerns remain the main barriers to cloud adoption for a lot of companies, despite Gartner’s protests that it is how these services are used that poses the biggest risk to enterprises.
Ed Anderson, research vice-president at Gartner, said providers need to do a better job of educating enterprises on this point to help them overcome their concerns about using the cloud.
“Gartner’s position on cloud security has been clear – public cloud services offered by the leading cloud providers are secure. The real security challenge is using public cloud services in a secure manner,” he said.
“More education is needed to help organisations overcome the hype associated with security concerns. This should be a key area of focus for providers in working with their clients to unlock the benefits of public cloud services.”
Gartner said the emergence of multi-cloud deployments, whereby enterprises build cloud environments using services sourced from more than one provider, is starting to play out in the enterprise.
This trend will accelerate, the company said, with the hybrid cloud method of IT consumption set to dominate overall, once enterprises overcome the challenges that come with trying to manage multiple providers within both on-premise and cloud environments.
“We know public cloud services will continue to grow. We also know that private cloud services (of various types) will become more widely used,” Anderson added.
“Therefore, providers must focus on the top hybrid cloud challenges to be successful in meeting the growing demand for hybrid cloud solutions.”