No More Novelty: Cloud Gets Serious

By Kim Loughead, VP, Cloud Product & Solutions Marketing, Axway

Mashable recently published a cool infographic featuring a compelling model of a very broad-based cloud survey. Out of the infographic and survey spring some compelling stats that illustrate an overall trend toward increased adoption of the cloud.

  • • Data security. The world seems to have a heightened sense of data security’s importance thanks to both widespread regulatory obligations and wider-spread fears of making front-page news after a data breach. The concern for data security has been an excuse decision-makers have fallen back on to avoid the cloud, but no more: Even in highly regulated and security-focused industries like financial services and government, security has diminished as a specific barrier to cloud adoption.
  • • IT performance. These statistics caught my eye because IT performance has long been cited as a net benefit of moving to the cloud, and to finally see some quantitative data to back that up is great. Add to that the fact that few companies downsize their IT after cloud adoption, and a couple of things become clear. First, IT is actually better able to focus on delivering services to the business after cloud adoption, because they no longer have to manage and monitor infrastructure – in essence, IT becomes more relevant to the business, not less. And secondly, this new reality means that IT in general is making a shift toward service management and away from infrastructure management.
  • • Cost savings. This is often cited as the key benefit of moving to the cloud. But what this stat shows is more complicated and interesting: Cost savings is only a secondary driver to adoption. Companies are realizing that business agility and efficiency, greater accessibility of information, an ability to deliver services more quickly, and faster time-to-value trump cost savings as a primary driver, because these benefits make a company more competitive and enable them to exploit previously inaccessible markets.

Cloud is moving out of the novelty phase and into the serious adoption phase, a shift we at Axway have noticed in just the last six months. The question is no longer “Why bother with all the cloud and security concerns?” Instead, it’s “How quickly can we get started?”

Enterprises need to define a path to keep pace with this shift. They need to leverage existing investments and extend capabilities through cloud services to create new value-added solutions for their customers. At Axway, we are doing just that – building solutions that extend our customers’ investments and give them the flexibility to take advantage of the cloud without ripping and replacing legacy technology.

After all, flexibility is the name of the game, and as this transition within enterprises continues, software vendors will need not only to adopt flexible pricing models, but to be more flexible in how they deliver software and integrate technology across environments.

It’s a transition that is sure to make 2012 an interesting year for all of us.