Where Are You with Cloud Migration?
A McKinsey & Company survey sheds light on IaaS adoption trends across different-sized businesses.
Is your unified communications system running on internal systems? Is it co-located with other applications? Is it virtualized? Will you be moving to a cloud service soon? Will you be running your UC system as an application in the cloud? Where are we with cloud implementations?
The cloud is an expanding alternative to on-premises IT solutions. Your choices are infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS), the last of which unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a subset. As I looked at in my recent blog, "Modernizing IT Means Modernizing UC," IaaS is becoming a popular solution for UC applications.
A McKinsey & Company survey, "IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) Cloud and Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure," focuses on IaaS and is discussed in this recent report. There were about 800 CIOs and IT executives from a variety of industries, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 enterprises, who provided their views on the transition to cloud infrastructure looking ahead to 2018.IaaS for UC
When you are working with an IaaS service model, you are working with a third-party. The third-party provides the hardware, software, servers, storage, building, power, and other infrastructure elements. As part of the service, you also receive maintenance, backup, and resiliency planning. You still need to retain your IT staff for operations. What you're doing is outsourcing the physical data center. By running your software on the IaaS provider's infrastructure, you don't have to own and maintain a data center. This could be licensed software such as unified communications and/or applications that you have written.
IaaS is highly scalable. That means that you can size facilities to what you need. This is very important when you have seasonal variations in the amount of traffic you have to handle or when two organizations merge or the market changes. You can also use the IaaS configuration to experiment with new ideas (new forms of collaboration), support temporary solutions, and respond to business changes rapidly.
Usually IaaS customers pay on a timed per-use charge structure: by the hour, week, or month. Some providers charge customers based on the amount of virtual machine space that is used. This billing model eliminates the capital expense of deploying in-house infrastructure hardware and software. It also means that the organization can rapidly deploy IaaS resident solutions, much faster than if the organization had to buy and implement the infrastructure hardware and software itself.The Cloud Shift
IT is shifting toward the cloud. The survey results indicate that enterprises plan to reduce the number of workloads they support on premises. It appears that many of the organizations have confidence in migrating other applications to IaaS. The on-premises cloud environment seems to have hit its peak of popularity. When you look at the chart below from the McKinsey report, you discover that the on-premises cloud service does not look like it is going to change at all. The dedicated private cloud and the virtual private cloud and public IaaS are all looking forward to considerable growth. The virtualized owned environment is going to decrease slightly.
Who Will Do What?
The size of the organization will influence its adoption of cloud technologies, as the McKinsey survey results show in the chart below. In looking at the six approaches in the chart, there are some differences among the large and midsize enterprises, and small and medium businesses. As you look across the large enterprise applications, you discover that the choice of public IaaS increases from 10% in 2015 to 51% by 2018. Choice of dedicated private cloud and virtual private cloud solutions by the enterprise are also slated to see significant growth. Traditional on-premises solutions and on-premises virtualized approaches are expected to decrease by 2018, while on-premises private cloud will increase from 24% in 2015 to 46% by 2018. In summary, large enterprise cloud adoption looks like it is going to accelerate.
Midsize organizations tend to favor dedicated or virtual private clouds. The public IaaS growth for this segment is modest, 28% in 2015 to 40% by 2018. Small and medium business will experience modest public IaaS growth, from 23% to 33% by 2018. Dedicated private cloud and virtual private cloud growth will be modest as well.
Influences and Barriers to Cloud Adoption
Although many see the cloud as a means to cut costs, it also offers greater flexibility and reduced time-to-market for application introduction and response to market changes. Security and compliance are the two top barriers to acceptance of the cloud. They should be considered as most important when selecting an IaaS solution. Cost should be a third evaluation element. Since you can move everything to the cloud rapidly, interoperability with on-premises private cloud solutions or with traditional solutions is also important when evaluating IaaS solutions.
There are many cloud providers in the market today. The large providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will probably be high on your list to consider. These are called hyper scale providers. The survey discovered that roughly 80% of large enterprises will move one or more applications/workloads to a hyper scale provider by 2018. A disadvantage that some consider is that once you choose one of these large providers, it's very likely you will have vendor lock-in. If flexibility to change providers is important to you, you should also look at the tier 2 and tier 3 IaaS providers as well as the telcos for other solutions.