Some market studies continue to identify confusion regarding the true meaning of cloud-based services, and the apparent benefits derived by the early-adopters. One recent example comes from a survey of financial professionals in the UK.
However, there is already growing demand from informed executive business and IT decision makers that are eager to move forward with various forms of cloud service deployments.
In fact, Forrester Research has embarked on a new "Cloud and Virtualization Survey Data" series that offers key insights on where the market demand is developing, and they also debunk several stereotypes.
According to Forrester's assessment, Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings, one of the three types of cloud services, is an area of cloud computing that currently receives the most market attention. It centers on two forms of capability: 1) pay-per-use hosting of virtual servers at an external cloud service provider, and 2) operating an internal cloud, where your IT department offers virtual servers-as-a-service.
Enterprise Will Lead the Momentum
Forrester reviewed their latest survey data and uncovered the following indicators of likely buyer interest in, and adoption of, these two forms of IaaS:
- About 25% of all enterprises plan to adopt IaaS via an external service provider.
- Firms are slightly less interested in internal clouds than they are in external IaaS.
- Large business respondents report more awareness, interest, and adoption of external IaaS than small business -- they also report the same for internal clouds.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) - End user applications, delivered as a service rather than as on-premise software.
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) - Application platform or middleware-as-a-service on which developers can build and operate custom applications.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) - Compute-, storage-, or other IT infrastructure-as-a-service, rather than as dedicated capability.
Once again, pay-per-use hosting of virtual servers and internal cloud are part of infrastructure-as-a-service.
Cloud Service Adoption Drivers
Forrester reached an interesting conclusion from their market assessment -- that's contrary to conventional wisdom regarding the initial demand for cloud services. Enterprises are leading the adoption, not small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). Moreover, they have different technology preferences and comfort levels with virtualization.
Forrester also believes that early adopters of IaaS service offerings are driven by the instant provisioning of servers and the pay-per-use pricing model. Furthermore, the enterprise IT operations buyers, unlike developer buyers, may want to integrate their on-premise infrastructure with anything they deploy to a service provider, either temporarily or permanently.