SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Irwin Lazar
Irwin Lazar is the Vice President and Service Director at Nemertes Research, where he manages research operations, develops and manages...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Irwin Lazar | September 28, 2016 |

 
   

An Accelerating Rise to the Cloud

An Accelerating Rise to the Cloud Announcements from leading technology companies underscore the idea that for most businesses, it's no longer a matter of "if" but "when" applications will shift to the cloud.

Announcements from leading technology companies underscore the idea that for most businesses, it's no longer a matter of "if" but "when" applications will shift to the cloud.

The march to the cloud gained considerable steam in the last two weeks with major announcements from leading software and communications providers. First off, we had Oracle at this year's OpenWorld introduce its cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform (IaaS) to compete directly with the likes of Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Oracle CTO Larry Ellison and CEO Mark Hurd laid out a vision of seamlessly integrated services offering application, platform, and infrastructure in the cloud -- secure, highly available, and with distributed global data centers that allow customers to support requirements for in-country data storage and retention. Hurd predicted that by 2025, 80% of IT budgets would be spent on cloud-based services.

Microsoft echoed Oracle's cloud push at its annual Ignite conference for enterprise IT. Microsoft, too, delivered a slew of announcements to enable its customers to move to pure or hybrid cloud environments, integrating on-premises and cloud security and management. The company stressed the geographic breadth and processing power of Azure, its IaaS offering, even positioning it as a global supercomputer capable of supporting emerging artificial intelligence and machine learning applications. Microsoft also announced a strategic partnership with Adobe, integrating Azure and Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Adobe's Marketing, Creative, and Document clouds.

Oracle and Microsoft were not alone. Last week, Cisco and Salesforce announced a partnership to integrate Salesforce's cloud platform with Cisco Spark, its cloud-based team collaboration service (see "Cisco, Salesforce Form Strategic Alliance"). The partnership enables customer communication directly through Salesforce and includes the integration of Cisco's IoT technologies into Salesforce.

Taken all together, these announcements underscore the rapid shift to cloud. According to Nemertes' latest research, more than 40% of organizations are now using or planning to use UCaaS. Fully 94% of companies are increasing spend on PaaS and IaaS. A key trend driving the move to cloud is a change in the way enterprise IT leaders view cloud security; 44% say that cloud services are "more secure" than on-premises, while just 19% say they are less secure. With an ever increasing percentage of IT budgets being eaten up by security-related spending, IT shops increasingly see cloud services as a cost-effective means to meet rising security challenges.

Stormy Clouds

The road to cloud is not without speed bumps. Nemertes finds that just 35% of businesses have a centralized structure in place to manage their cloud service providers. Only 41% have a cloud roadmap and strategy. IT leaders are struggling to find the right mix of cloud, including determining how to support hybrid models that integrate cloud and on-premises services, how to manage application performance, and how to evolve wide area networks to support traffic flows that are changing from data center to end-user, to user-to-cloud -- from desktop and mobile devices.

Nemertes is seeing widespread adoption of WAN services that optimize connectivity to cloud services: 27% are currently using SD-WAN, while another 36% are evaluating it for future deployment. Twenty percent of those using/planning to use SD-WAN will drop MPLS in favor of SD-WAN optimized public Internet services in order to better align with their adoption of cloud-based applications and platforms. Similar numbers are investing in cloud exchange services from carriers like AT&T, Level 3, and Verizon, or direct cloud connectivity services from SaaS providers like RingCentral's recently announced CloudConnect (see "RingCentral Adds Direct-to-Cloud Access Ramp").

Cloud exchanges enable organizations to federate their wide area networks with cloud services through either their WAN service provider or via connectivity through a carrier hotel or shared data center. Cloud exchange services eliminate the variability of Internet as a WAN and are typically offered as a managed service that provides application performance management, resiliency, and security guarantees. Nemertes notes a strong correlation between direct cloud connectivity and cloud success, with 75% of organizations that rate their cloud strategies as "highly successful" using such services.

As IT rises into the cloud, significant challenges remain. IT organizations must create a coherent strategy for success, aligning network, security, and application plans with the shift to cloud. Success comes from shifting the entire IT operational viewpoint to a cloud-centric paradigm, not just simply shifting individual applications in an inconsistent manner to a variety of cloud services with little attention paid to cloud network connectivity, management, and security.

Follow Irwin Lazar on Twitter and Google+!
@imlazar
Irwin Lazar on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.