The Cloud has been a very real topic invading the minds and budget planning sessions for many companies over the past few years. Truth told, the Cloud is tough to get away from whether a business leader or IT professional. Over the course of the last couple years, companies have been investing time and resources into exploring Cloud technologies with the intent to determine if it actually provides value and cost savings.
According to a 451 Research study just released, the Cloud has become a very real prospect, and while adoption is growing, it's the interest that has reached a high level. But, there's a catch. Someone keeps changing the definition of the Cloud and its various components. It reminds me of the whole Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal: "It depends on what the meaning of the Cloud is."
Digging through the report you find that the majority of companies are still choosing a Hybrid Cloud model instead of pushing entire applications and services to a hosted, off-premises datacenter. However, the definitions and terms seem to keep changing to prove a data point. Now, along with Private, Hybrid, and Public, we're introduced to hosted-dedicated, hosted-private, and private-to-private.
Microsoft says, "Companies are moving forward with cloud deployments at a rapid rate," but what they fail to highlight is the fact that companies are keeping the Cloud on-premise. The study shows that "private to private" Clouds remain the dominant model at 60 percent. I talked to this in January 2014, suggesting that the Cloud is now completely out of the hands of vendors after a couple years of customers being bombarded with false marketing. Companies are taking the Cloud back.
People tend to get so focused on the Cloud as a thing, or a place, but in truth, it's a set of processes that enable elasticity and high performance for a highly virtualized datacenter. When thought of in that respect, the Cloud is an extremely valuable property. But, that datacenter can reside anywhere, even still within the corporate infrastructure, and the report shows on-premise continues to be the most popular option.
The report is available for download so you can dig through it yourself. Even the subtitle of the report itself is a bit misleading (Hosting and Cloud Go Mainstream). To me, hosting means off-premise, and when you consider the report was released as part of a Microsoft Hosting Summit with 350 hosting partners in attendance, you might agree with me. Even in Hybrid Cloud scenarios, companies are choosing to keep the majority of critical data in-house.
Download the report here: Hosting and Cloud Study 2014 - Hosting and Cloud Go Mainstream
P.S. The report was commissioned by Microsoft.