September 12, 2012

ODCA Survey Shows Cloud Adoption Ramping Up

Robert Gelber

The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) has just released the results from their second annual survey conducted at this year’s solutions provider summit. The findings show that members are implementing cloud technologies faster than originally anticipated. Respondents also appeared to be prepping for much further adoption over the next three years as well.

Since June 2011, the ODCA has published eight usage models aimed at addressing the barriers to cloud computing. The models receive input from ODCA’s 300-plus member organizations, which include Red Hat, EMC, VMware, AT&T, CERN, Teradata and others. These companies are committed to the future success of cloud technologies and their responses to the survey may offer unique insights into the technology’s upcoming landscape.

This sentiment was echoed by Mario Müller, the organization’s chairman and vice president, as part of an official statement:

Our diverse membership provides us with a unique perspective on the trends and challenges surrounding cloud computing… This survey not only shows that companies are increasingly using the cloud for critical business applications, but are also making their IT purchasing decisions based on ODCA requirements. Clearly, the ongoing, collaborative efforts of the ODCA are having a major impact on the industry.

The Results

A common trend in cloud surveys involves respondents expressing concern about potential security risks. In this case ODCA, members were no different, with an overwhelming majority (83%) saying that data security is limiting their adoption of the cloud. Regulatory issues (47.5%), reliability of services (44.2%) and potential of lock-in (39.3%) also received noticeable attention from the group’s members.

While the participants were open about potential issues with cloud technologies, they also appeared rather confident about implementation and future adoption.

The majority of ODCA members (93.8%) are in some stage of cloud planning or implementation. When asked to predict their level of cloud adoption for the year 2015, about one-quarter anticipated running more than 40% of their operations in a public cloud. A roughly three-fold increase in adoption versus today’s numbers. ODCA members were even more confident about private cloud with a majority of the respondents (58.6%) anticipating that at least 40% of their operations would be running on dedicated hardware. Furthermore, a significant number of respondents (30.1%) have plans to implement a mixed strategy that incorporates both internal and public deployments.

The attraction to private cloud technology ties in with the previously-mentioned security concerns shared by users; while the hybrid cloud option presents the best-of-both-worlds scenario: marrying the security and control of a private cloud with scalability and flexibility benefits of a public cloud.

The takeaway for this survey is that cloud adoption is ramping up ahead of the ODCA’s expectations. As security measures improve and as workplace culture catches up with technology, users may find more use cases for all modes of cloud deployment.