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Enterprises that shun cloud comprise a business threat, says 451 Research

Hosted IT reaches a tipping point as analyst house 451 Research claims that enterprises shunning cloud technology constitute a risky proposition

Enterprise attitudes towards off-premise services have reached a tipping point, as IT buyers now consider shunning cloud a bigger threat to their business than using it.

That’s according to Andrew Reichman, cloud market watcher at analyst house 451 Research, who talked about the change in enterprise attitudes to cloud adoption during the firm’s recent Business of Cloud, Datacentre and Hosting Summit in central London.

Enterprise IT decision makers used to be fearful about entrusting their data to the cloud, because of concerns about security and product immaturity, he said, but that is no longer the case.

This shift in attitude can be partly attributed to the growing number of high-profile enterprises that have moved to cloud technologies in recent years. This has made it easier for larger firms to appreciate how their organisations could benefit from the move off-premise.

“Back in the early days of cloud, it you looked at the customers using Amazon, it wasn’t enterprises. They were brave early adopters with nothing to lose and innovative business models, all doing amazing things,” he said.

Given the legacy IT considerations of enterprises, the initial run of success stories about startups using cloud to get their operations off the ground proved difficult for enterprise IT buyers to relate to, he continued. But, over time, things had changed.

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Business risk in shunning cloud

“Companies are now saying they can get a competitive advantage through the use of flexible, agile technology, and they feel they can use it safely, and – if they don’t do it – they run the risk of going out of business,” Reichman said.

“This is interesting because, what we heard before from enterprise users was, 'We risk going out of business if we use cloud because it’s insecure and not ready for us.'

"Those same companies are now saying, 'It’s risky for us if we don’t do this.’”

451 Research’s own data backs up this change in attitude, he said. It shows the number of companies that do not use cloud at all is “shrinking dramatically”, with many non-users outlining plans to ramp up their use of off-premise technologies in the next six months.

“Within two years, more workloads will run in the cloud than in non-cloud architectures,” he said.

Hybrid approach could prove tiresome

Taking a hybrid approach to cloud consumption is likely to emerge as a good “transitional strategy” for companies looking to sweat on-premise hardware assets, he said.

However, companies thinking about using the public cloud to supplement their on-premise resources may find the hybrid approach more trouble than it's worth.

“You have to technically architect the application to use that model and, if you’re going to go through all that work and effort to build a hybrid model, what’s the point in keeping that on-premise capacity?” he asked.

“The reality of that model is, in order to accommodate the ‘bursting’, you have to be happy with that whole workload running in the public cloud.”

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