Following on from our recent research into enterprise IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) adoption, we spoke to digital strategist and CIO advisor, Marc Wilczek who has shared his insights on the perceived challenges and benefits of migrating to cloud infrastructure.
The market has grown by over 40 per cent per year since 2011, and is projected to continue to grow by 25 per cent.
Greater agility and faster time to market are two of the largest benefits of IaaS. Migrating infrastructure to the cloud gives companies the flexibility to rapidly deploy and decommission services. For example, if a business needs additional capacity or computing power to scale in response to new opportunities or peaks of activity, it no longer has to wait weeks for costly physical hardware to be delivered and installed.
And, if a business has an idea for a new service, it can create a virtual test environment at a low cost, and demo and deploy that service in hours or days instead of weeks or even months. This agility can help foster a workplace culture that encourages innovation through rapid prototyping. The cloud is the location of choice to leverage data-centric business models, create new applications and embrace collaboration. Indeed, two thirds (66%) of businesses using IaaS say it makes it easier to innovate, according to a recent study by Oracle .
There’s a misconception that IaaS can end up costing more than an on-premises approach, but when it’s done right it can actually save businesses money. Oracle’s research has shown that implementing IaaS has helped over half (57%) of adopters reduce IT maintenance costs significantly, as companies free up resources typically spent on maintenance and management of on-premises infrastructure. This is partly because IT is all about economies of scale; cloud providers can typically offer far lower costs per unit than end-users could accomplish themselves, due to their high degree of standardization and automation combined with mass storage volumes.
“Implementing IaaS has helped over half (57%) of adopters reduce IT maintenance costs significantly.”
But challenges around costs are still among the most cited challenges of mature cloud users. In addition, 30-45% of all cloud spend is wasted, according to the RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report.
How can businesses ensure they save rather than spend when they move their infrastructure to the cloud? Creating a thorough plan is one of the most important actions to start with – this can make the difference between success and failure. For example, often companies underestimate the number of resources needed to move IT infrastructure into the cloud. This results in a sudden need to have more employees working on a project, or migration is taking longer than planned.
Businesses also commonly produce idle costs when unused cloud resources are left up and running, such as wrongly allocated cloud storage or unneeded compute capacity, for example. To save on costs, the IT department needs to implement tools to constantly monitor new infrastructure and decommission environments when they are no longer needed. This is even more important in a hybrid or multi-cloud scenario, where the IT landscape is spread not just between on-premises and off-premise but also across a multitude of service providers.
For companies to maximize their ROI when they invest in IaaS, those less experienced in cloud migration should look for guidance from their service provider to help them build a sturdy and cost efficient transformation plan.
Data security is another significant barrier to adoption according to half of IT professionals surveyed in Oracle’s research. But these concerns are mainly unfounded and many companies need to gain a better understanding of IaaS security.
Many IT professionals fear a lack of control over their data since cloud activity lies outside of their on-premises servers, and with some cloud providers the physical location of the cloud is not necessarily known. They understand and trust the security they have in place within their own data centers and believe they lose this control in the cloud. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Although it is shared infrastructure by definition, cloud data centers typically offer superior security to many on-premises systems.
Only 10% of businesses don’t see themselves using IaaS in three years’ time.
Despite these concerns, only 10% of businesses don’t see themselves using IaaS in three years’ time. As the market continues to mature, more and more companies will experience the benefits of IaaS, and the increasing reliance on cloud services will quell security concerns among non-adopters. However, in the short term, businesses that are still reticent about the cloud need to overcome their misgivings, or they risk falling behind competitors that have embraced IaaS.
Find out more about Oracle IaaS and our recent You & IaaS research here.