Organizations are using cloud computing solutions in some form or another. More than likely, employees are using SaaS apps to help them do some part of their job, whether sanctioned by IT or not. This Hybrid IT model—the use of cloud-based applications with organizations’ existing on-premises applications—is likely here to stay. That said, adopting a cloud-based enterprise is often still driven by three factors that Gartner identified a couple of years ago:
1.Increased cloud usage will be through ‘tactical business solutions addressing specific problems, not through broad, strategic infrastructure replacements.’
In other words, enterprise use of the cloud will depend on each technology need rather than an IT-wide decision. Since the cloud market is still largely influenced by early adopters addressing specific issues—and mainstream enterprise organizations are generally not early adopters of innovative technologies—the adoption rate of cloud computing solutions is increasing gradually. We’ve seen this in the past couple of years as non-IT lines of business embrace cloud applications to help them advance their efficiencies—even though IT may or may not be on board with these cloud/technology decisions.
2.Cloud influence is also driven by the fact that ‘the business impact of cloud services increases as they continue to move up the cloud services value chain, from infrastructure services to business process services.’
Simply put, the more cloud computing solutions affect the organization as a whole, the more complex the decision becomes. Placing existing applications in the cloud and replacing applications with new cloud-driven solutions are two completely different decisions with different enterprise-level implications.
3.The ‘introduction of cloud solutions will lead to a more diverse solution portfolio with widely varying implementation and migration timelines.’
With the different cloud computing service variations, there’s a degree of complexity, and despite some meaningful long-term benefits, there are few ‘shortcuts and silver bullets’ as Gartner says. These use-case silver bullets are what we’re seeing now in Shadow or Hybrid IT – SaaS apps, automation, and the like.
The cloud and its many offerings is making for a more diverse solutions portfolio, and if enterprise IT can embrace and control its proliferation, it stands to gain efficiencies and advantages that can propel success.