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July072013

The maturity of cloud computing

Cloud Peel back

Perhaps you have dipped your metaphorical toes into the water, maybe have immersed yourself completely, or maybe you are yet to take the first step and move your computing operations to the cloud. Whatever point you are at, you may be interested to know that a collaborative report released by ISACA and CSA in late 2012 found that the cloud computing industry has evolved, and is now what could be classified as a “growth industry”.

Exciting right? Well let us caveat that statement with this one: In compiling the report, the authors undertook a study in which, nearly all respondents felt that cloud computing is on its way to reaching maturity, with only software as a service (SaaS) precipitously placed at the earliest state of “growth”. Other solutions such as infrastructure and platform services are still considered to be in their infancy.

This may take you by surprise somewhat; after all, the press has for years been telling you that cloud computing is the big thing of the moment and that you should be moving rapidly towards having your enterprise in the cloud. However, technically, the term “growth phase” refers to industries which are experiencing increased competition, evolved service and/or product offerings and rapid growth. Till recently, the cloud was a great solution, however, it was not evolved to the point it is now with multiple, well-defined and robust solutions. Today, the industry is characterised by multiple niche offerings such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Managed Services and Utility Services.

The Evolution of the Cloud

The cloud has definitely evolved from where it was even 18 months ago.

Today, businesses from nearly every sector are now able to custom select the right cloud based solution to suit not only their needs, but their budgets. In fact, in many instances, moving to the cloud now offers businesses efficiencies and lowered costs, thereby improving business performance.

moving to the cloud now offers businesses efficiencies and lowered costs, thereby improving business performance

But whilst the cloud has evolved and come along in leaps and bounds, there are still a number of areas which require attention. In the ISACA/CSA report, users across 50 different countries and multiple different industries identified that there were a number of areas requiring attention:

  • The ability for government regulations to keep pace with the market
  • Testing and assurance
  • International data privacy and sovereignty
  • Legal Issues
  • Contracts

As you can see, it is not that the value of the cloud is questioned, but rather that people are wondering about the bigger picture and how the government and society are moving to ensure that they keep up with the pace of change.

The gains to be realised from moving to the cloud will greatly enhance the performance of the business. However, progress is slow with CIOs and the IT department in general still driving the push for change, rather than it being pulled by other aspects of the business – perhaps due to the aforementioned factors which cannot be controlled by cloud providers themselves in many instances.

What is clear is that businesses are still making the move to the cloud, albeit, in increments. As the different cloud solutions become even better, adoption will continue to improve and the more the cloud industry will be considered to be a growth industry.

 

Now understandably if having read this, you are wondering about the suitability of the cloud for your organisation, then we recommend that you look at the “Cloud Readiness Tool” provided by Microsoft. Alternatively, reach out to us and let one of our staff talk to you about your concerns and where we can help.

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