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November 2012

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Leading Analyst Reports on Lessons Learned from Early Cloud Adopters

A September 2012 Forrester Consulting study, commissioned by Oracle and titled “Enterprise Cloud—Lessons Learned from Early Adopters,” reports on current strategies and practices in deploying enterprise clouds—and provides guidelines and tips to help organizations with their enterprise cloud endeavors.

The study, commissioned by Oracle, is based on a survey of 156 senior-level IT decision-makers with cloud responsibilities.

"It is clear that incomplete, shallow, and loosely integrated cloud management approaches will fail," conclude the report's authors. "The ideal approach is to identify a strategic vendor that offers you advanced tools with deep and highly integrated functionality to create complete, application-centric, and business-aware clouds."

Key findings include the following.

The main driver for enterprise cloud adoption is the quest for business agility and efficiency. Eighty percent of respondents believe driving innovative business services through technology is the key to IT-business integration, and 70 percent agree that cloud technology plays a critical role in driving business agility and innovation.

"Until recently, technology was viewed as a way to improve the costs and efficiencies of IT organizations. But now the technology is viewed as a key business value driver for the enterprises—driving business innovation, differentiation, agility, and cost control," conclude the report's authors.

Organizations with an infrastructure-centric cloud approach are struggling to meet business objectives. Ninety percent of respondents believe that managing the transition of critical business applications to the cloud is a major challenge.

"IT groups that only plan to deliver infrastructure cloud solutions will struggle to meet business objectives, since such solutions lack software platform capabilities necessary to run enterprise or mission-critical applications," conclude the report's authors.

Organizations are underestimating downstream management issues (after deployment and release) of the complete application stack in the cloud. Ninety-four percent of organizations feel they cannot manage the cloud application lifecycle properly because they lack the right tools.

"The majority of tools in the market today primarily focus on managing infrastructure services, lacking the capabilities to address platform, application, and business aspects of the cloud," write the report's authors.

A complete, application-centric, and business-aware cloud solution is needed. Ninety percent of respondents think a complete cloud, which includes full cloud lifecycle management of all required IT services and components, is required to achieve their business objectives. And 78 percent are interested in complete cloud lifecycle management solutions that include integrated management of the IT stack that powers the cloud—including application, middleware, database, hardware, and virtualization infrastructure.

"Such solutions take away the integration pains and effort on the customer side and provide an accelerated path to a complete enterprise cloud—thus allowing them to serve the business better," write the report's authors.

Read the complete Forrester study.

View the Forrester on-demand Webcast.

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