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Enterprise computing is in the midst of a tectonic shift, as IT organizations have begun in earnest to migrate their data center activity to infrastructure as a service (IaaS). IaaS is continuing its surge in adoption for the third straight year. Organizations are finally getting over fears of losing control and seeking the security, flexibility, and scalability of cloud infrastructure.
Figure 2 from our full report, IaaS Adoption Trends and Customer Experience, shows that adoption and investment rates for IaaS have been steadily increasing. In the last four years, adoption (the blue bars) has risen 25%, from 17% of all organizations in 2015 to 42% in 2018. During the same period, the percentage of organizations making new investments in IaaS has risen from 17% to 40%.
IaaS refers to the use of public, network-based computing resources such as storage and processing without having to manage the underlying technical infrastructure. IT organizations make use of IaaS for a variety of purposes, such as disaster recovery, testing, system development, archiving of inactive data, and, increasingly, for production systems.
“The big jumps in adoption and investment are likely just the tip of the iceberg,” said Tom Dunlap, director of research for Computer Economics, a research firm based in Irvine, Calif. “Yet, despite the growth, less than half of companies have adopted IaaS. And even those that are using it are still keeping large portions of their workloads in-house. The great migration has only just begun, and we expect continued massive growth in public cloud usage both from more companies adopting IaaS and from existing adopters expanding their workloads in the cloud.”
Despite the benefits, many organizations have been reluctant to trust their computing infrastructure, especially their production systems, to public cloud providers. In some cases, there is resistance within the IT organization to moving the infrastructure off-site because of unease over losing control. In other cases, organizations raise security and privacy concerns over trusting the public cloud with confidential information. Research has shown that, for the most part, reputable IaaS providers have superior security to what most companies can provide in-house. CIOs are catching on to the improved security and the flexibility that the cloud can provide.
Based on the survey, the full report quantifies the current adoption and investment trends for public cloud IaaS, as well as the benefits driving adoption and buyer concerns holding it back. We assess adoption and investment trends by organization size, sector, and geography. We also look at the economics of IaaS by assessing the ROI and TCO experience of those that have adopted IaaS and conclude with practical advice for those seeking to gain support for IaaS investments.