WhitePaper. Taking the business benefits of private cloud to new heights

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1 WhitePaper Taking the business benefits of private cloud to new heights Empowering the business for the hybrid cloud future September 2013

2 Table of Contents 01 Scope of research/methodology 02 Summary of key findings 04 The importance of cloud computing environments and its impact on businesses 08 Private cloud growth and the trend towards hybrid 12 Wanted: a business focused, cloud management portal 15 Looking to partners to help with private cloud strategy 17 Conclusion 18 Recommendations

3 Scope of research & methodology Research methodology Avanade commissioned independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake the research upon which this report is based. Avanade was created in 2000 to provide business technology solutions and managed services based on the Microsoft platform. 750 interviews were carried out during April-May 2013 with senior decision-makers in the IT department of enterprises with more than 1000 employees (split equally between enterprises with up to 3000 employees and enterprises with more than 3000 employees). Interviews were performed in nine countries: USA interviews United Kingdom interviews China interviews Germany interviews France - 70 interviews Sweden - 30 interviews Brazil - 50 interviews Japan - 50 interviews Australia - 50 interviews Respondents to this research came from a range of industry sectors, which only excluded public sector. Interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate. Aims of the research This study explores the current trends in the adoption of private cloud computing as well as the impact public cloud adoption is having on how IT is expected to deliver the private cloud experience to their business users. This is done by examining how enterprises are looking to adapt and evolve their private cloud environments in the future. The study also looks to understand the concerns and struggles that enterprises currently have with cloud, and how they are looking to tackle these difficulties. The study investigates the purchase behavior for cloud services within enterprises and any related consequences of these behaviors - Are business owners bypassing their own IT departments and engaging public cloud services? If so, why are they doing so? What are the implications to an enterprise when IT is not involved? With the proliferation of public cloud services is there still a role for private cloud services? Can IT find a solution whereby business owners within their enterprise are able to interact with their own cloud environment as they see fit, yet with IT retaining ultimate control? Is IT struggling to establish a robust, business focused, private cloud strategy and are they looking to find a partner who can help them establish a robust private cloud strategy? If so, are there particular areas where they believe a partner can provide the greatest value? The study addresses these questions in four distinct sections, first establishing the importance and impact of cloud, then the prevalence of private cloud and the evolution of hybrid. The report then addresses the ever growing need for a holistic cloud service management tool. Are enterprises looking for more comprehensive, user friendly tools than are currently available off-the-shelf? Finally, this paper looks at the desire to establish a relationship with a partner who can help enterprises create a robust cloud strategy. Unless otherwise indicated, results discussed in the main narrative are based on the entire global sample. Where variances in response by region or sector are notable, they are clearly indicated as such. 1

4 Summary of key findings The majority of IT decision-makers (referred to in this paper as ITDMs) understand the business benefits arising from their use of cloud Improved efficiency (65%), improved agility (63%), and reduced costs (55%) are the three benefits most likely to arise from implementation of this technology. ITDMs see the potential of cloud computing as a key to success. Almost half (48%) of all respondents that use cloud completely agree with this sentiment Private cloud is becoming the new norm in IT environments 89% of these enterprises use private cloud and 64% use public cloud. Almost half (48%) of all enterprises use both public and private cloud in tandem But, employees are still signing up for cloud services independently of their IT department potentially introducing risk into the enterprise Two thirds of ITDMs believe their employees are signing up for cloud services outside of their IT department and as a result, two thirds of IT decision-makers also believe that employees are introducing risk into the company Widespread, unchecked use of external clouds is resulting in inefficiencies for the business 61% of respondents agree that sprawl is causing inefficiencies in their business, and half of ITDMs say that cloud sprawl is making their working life more difficult Business is demanding a better private cloud experience from their IT departments 70% of respondents say that the business demands a similar transparency of the internal IT department s cost and running of cloud computing environments to those which are produced by external cloud providers (figure A). In short, IT needs to be easier to do business with 19% 8% 2% 38% 32% 1 completely agree do not agree at all Figure A: To what extent would you agree that, having dealt with public cloud providers, business demands a similar transparency of the internal IT department's costing and running of cloud computing environments? Asked to all cloud users (683) Private cloud environments are preferred where security and compliance are concerns Security concerns (77%) and data compliance/regulatory demands (60%) are the top two reasons why ITDMs choose to deploy certain applications on a private cloud rather than a public cloud Enterprises realize many benefits from private cloud The majority are seeing improved utilization/greater cost efficiencies, greater agility/speed of task completions, simplification of IT requests and management process, improved application performance, and improved collaboration between business and IT 2

5 75% of those with private cloud are looking to increase their investment in this technology and more than half (60%) of those without private cloud are looking to do the same (figure B). 71% of ITDMs also plan to have a least a portion of their private clouds installed on-premises in the next 12 months. Therefore it will be important for IT service providers to address how they can offer private cloud services in a manner which meets business departments expectations Yes, we are looking to invest in private cloud the next 12 months Yes, we are looking to invest in private cloud, but beyond 12 months 18% 26% 34% 75% Three quarters of ITDMs want to empower business owners with a self-service, business oriented private cloud management portal 73% of ITDMs agree that a self-service private cloud tool which they can provide to business owners would be useful, predicting they would roll-out this tool to an average of five different business units across the corporation ITDMs are struggling to keep up with cloud technologies, 69% looking for a partner to help establish a robust cloud strategy More than half (57%) of ITDMs openly admit they are struggling to keep up with the complexity of cloud technologies As a result, 69% of respondents are looking to partners to help them establish a robust cloud strategy, mainly for their technical expertise in designing/implementing cloud infrastructures (figure C) No, we are not looking to invest in private cloud 6% 41% 31% Private cloud users Non-private cloud users Figure B: Analysis of those who plan to expand their use of private cloud over the next twelve months. Asked of all respondents (750) 69% And over half of ITDMs see the business benefits of extending their private clouds to other clouds and plan to invest in a hybrid cloud future Of those that are looking to invest in hybrid cloud, the extension of private cloud into the public cloud, the average ratio of private to public is predicted to be 57%:43% in 24 months time The majority of ITDMs agree that simplification of cloud management is a key element of business success It is predicted that simplification of environments will see an average fall of a third in the cost (32%) and time (33%) spent managing cloud Figure C: Are you looking to partner organizations to help establish a robust cloud strategy? Asked to all respondents (750) When it comes to choosing a partner, technical expertise with private cloud (72%) and robust private cloud management tools (61%) are qualities seen as key to maximizing cloud environments Yes No ITDMs are turning to partners with technical expertise in designing and building private cloud infrastructures and who have experience with robust private cloud management tools that can help them maximize the potential of their cloud environments But, over half believe that off-the-shelf cloud management platforms cannot meet the requirements of business goals while allowing IT to retain the necessary control 56% believe the majority of cloud management platforms are too technical for business owners, 53% agree the platforms do not use a language business can understand and 55% also agree that cloud management platforms are too limiting in the number of cloud platforms they support 3

6 The importance of cloud computing environments and their impact on businesses The prevalence of cloud computing The study reveals that the vast majority (91%) of respondents have implemented cloud to some extent; private cloud is the most popular implementation (89%), while 64% use a public cloud implementation. More specifically, just under half (48%) of respondents use the two environment types in tandem, though a third (33%) use only private cloud and one in ten (10%) use only public (figure 1). It is worth highlighting that these mixed environments, while being used in the same company, are likely separate from each other; only 19% of respondents overtly state that they have a hybrid environment (that is, a linking of public and private cloud together). Hybrid cloud is explored later in the study. Why are cloud environments so popular? The research shows that cloud environments are so popular amongst respondents because they provide a multitude of business benefits. On average, ITDMs highlight five different business benefits resulting from their use of cloud computing environments, the top three being improved efficiency, improved agility, and reduced costs (figure 2). Improved efficiency Improved agility Reduced costs Improved disaster recovery 47% 55% 65% 63% Greater innovation 46% 9% 10% Better growth More stable 44% 42% 33% 48% Public only Both public and private Efficient version upgrades Expansion to new markets Better return-on-investment (ROI) for projects 35% 31% 41% Figure 2: Which of the following do you perceive as business benefits resulting from cloud computing environments? Asked to all respondents (750 respondents) Private only Currently not using cloud computing Figure 1: Which of the following cloud computing environments are currently being used by your organization? Asked to all respondents (750 respondents) 4

7 Cloud is key to business success The multitude of benefits resulting from cloud implementation is having a fundamentally positive impact on enterprises surveyed. The vast majority (98%) of those who have implemented a cloud solution agree to some extent that the technology has been key in shaping their business to be more successful (figure 3). More tellingly, almost half (48%) of ITDMs completely agree with this sentiment, emphatically highlighting the essential role that this technology is playing in the success of large businesses. 2% Employees bypassing IT Two thirds (66%) of IT managers believe employees are signing up for cloud services other than those provided by the IT department (figure 5). ITDMs believe employees are most frequently signing up for Software as a Service (SaaS) (77%), followed by Platform as a Service (PaaS) (62%) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) (59%). 34% 13% 6% 48% 66% 31% 1 completely agree do not agree at all Figure 3: To what extent do you agree cloud computing technologies have been key in helping transform your business to be more successful? Asked to all cloud users (683 respondents) Those ITDMs using both public and private cloud solutions are even more likely to completely agree with this sentiment than those using just public or private cloud; 59% of those with both types completely agree, compared to 40% of those using solely public solutions and 35% of those using a private implementation (figure 4). Yes Figure 5: Do you believe your organization's employees are signing up for cloud services outside those provided by the IT department? Asked to all respondents (683 respondents) Two thirds (66%) of ITDMs who suspect employees are provisioning their own cloud services worry that additional risk is being introduced into the IT infrastructure. This is placing another level of pressure on the IT department (figure 6). Despite this positivity towards cloud, there s clearly a difference in opinion in how best to use the technology. 13% 1% No 33% 20% 59% 40% 35% 33% Public cloud only Private cloud only Both public and private cloud Figure 4: To what extent do you agree cloud computing technologies have been key in helping transform your business to be more successful? Responded agree by cloud usage. Asked to all cloud users (683 respondents) Figure 6: As a result of employees signing up for public cloud services outside of those provided by IT, do you feel additional risk is being introduced into IT systems? Asked of respondents who believe that employees are signing up for cloud services outside those provided by the IT department (494) 5 1 completely agree do not agree at all

8 Cloud sprawl Cloud sprawl is the concept that too many cloud environments are spread too widely or thinly across a business instead of having a coordinated approach to cloud service acquisition and management. Given the already widespread adoption of these services, is cloud sprawl already affecting businesses? The majority (61%) of respondents agrees that cloud sprawl is causing inefficiencies in their business, rising to almost threequarters (71%) amongst those using both public and private cloud solutions (figure 7). 71% ITDMs in enterprises with a mix of public and private cloud environments are more likely to feel that their day-to-day activities are made more difficult due to cloud sprawl. The effect of public cloud on IT departments The research highlights that the majority of senior ITDMs agree that the IT department has to compete against the business models of public cloud service providers (figure 9). 11% 4% 29% 36% 54% 23% 33% Public cloud only Private cloud only Both public and private cloud Figure 7: Those who agree that cloud sprawl is causing inefficiencies to be introduced into the integration and management with their backoffice business systems and applications analyzed by type of cloud deployment. Asked of cloud users (683) ITDMs themselves are seeing secondary effects from cloud sprawl and half agree cloud sprawl is making their working life more difficult (figure 8). Not only has investing in numerous environments caused business problems, it is affecting those that have to manage these environments. 1 completely agree do not agree at all Figure 9: To what extent would you agree that the IT department has to compete against the business models of public cloud service providers? Asked to all cloud users (683) 8% 17% 22% 25% 29% 1 completely agree do not agree at all Figure 8: To what extent do you agree that cloud computing sprawl, is making your working life difficult? Asked of cloud users (683) 6

9 Additionally, the majority of ITDMs also agree that the business, having dealt with public cloud providers, demands a similar transparency of the internal IT department's costing and running of cloud computing environments (figure 10). 19% 8% 2% 38% 32% 1 completely agree do not agree at all Figure 10: To what extent would you agree that, having dealt with public cloud providers, business demands a similar transparency of the internal IT department's costing and running of cloud computing environments? Asked to all cloud users (683): Also labeled as Figure A in the Summary of key findings Those using a mix of public and private environments are much more likely to agree (72%) that IT is in competition with both the business models and the transparency levels of public cloud providers. Further analysis Sector Based on this study the ITDMs in the retail and private healthcare sectors surveyed lead the adoption of cloud technology, having the greatest level of cloud adoption at present (98% and 95% adopting to some extent respectively). Additionally, both of these sectors are very likely to have a mixed environment of private and public solutions, with around 74% using a mixed solution. At the other end of the spectrum, the financial services sector respondents to the survey are the least likely to have cloud technology in place, as 20% of respondents in this sector are not using cloud. Around two-thirds of retail and healthcare respondents (63% and 60% respectively) completely agree that cloud has been key in shaping their business into a success. Financial service respondents are at the other end of the spectrum, as only 38% completely agree that cloud is key to their success. In addition, retail and healthcare respondents on average see more benefits. Country Almost all (99%) respondents in the USA have implemented cloud computing environments to some extent. On the other side of the Pacific, 97% of Chinese surveyed ITDMs have adopted cloud computing to some extent. In addition, both China and the US respondents have the highest use of mixed cloud environments (85% and 68% respectively). 7

10 Private cloud growth and the trend towards hybrid The research has already highlighted that cloud technology is integral to the large majority of enterprises surveyed, bringing a multitude of benefits and being key to their success as a business. Deploying a mixture of private and public environments has a particularly positive effect on these enterprises, as on average those with mixed environments experience more benefits. What of those deploying private cloud implementations? How is private cloud faring in the business world, and how is it affecting IT departments and enterprises as a whole? Essential elements of private cloud On average ITDMs demand four essential elements from their deployments, with the majority needing virtualization (82%), dynamic allocation (61%), rapid provisioning (60%), resource pooling (57%) and service catalogues (55%) (figure 12). Virtualisation Dynamic allocation 61% 82% Private cloud deployment As mentioned previously, the vast majority (89%) of respondents have private cloud within their company to some extent, this being the most popular form of cloud environment. Currently, using a mixture of in-house and external service providers is the most popular method of private cloud deployment; 42% of private cloud users use a mixture of the two (figure 11). Rapid provisioning Resourcing pooling Service catalogues (Storage, Networking, Compute, etc.) Self-service 60% 57% 55% 46% In-house 25% 25% Transparency 34% Cloud service provider 33% 29% Figure 12: Which of the following do you believe to be essential elements of private cloud? Asked of private cloud users (607) A combination of the two 42% 46% Current 12 month's time Figure 11: Is your private cloud computing environment deployed inhouse or with a cloud service provider? and In 12 months' time, do you see your private cloud computing environment being deployed inhouse or with a cloud service provider? Asked of private cloud users (607) This is not set to change drastically over the next 12 months, though there is a hint that those outsourcing their private cloud deployment are moving towards a combination approach. 8

11 Private cloud investment The vast majority (93%) of respondents currently implementing private cloud are looking to make further investments in this technology, with three quarters (75%) looking to do so in the next 12 months (figure 13). The significant desire for further investment in private cloud suggests that the technology is hugely beneficial to those enterprises that are currently using it. Additionally, the majority (60%) of those currently without private cloud are looking to invest in this environment type, furthering the idea that the market is extremely positive towards this solution. Yes, we are looking to invest in private cloud the next 12 months Yes, we are looking to invest in private cloud, but beyond 12 months No, we are not looking to invest in private cloud 18% 75% Private cloud users Non-private cloud users Figure 13: Analysis of those who plan to expand their use of private cloud over the next twelve months. Asked of all respondents (750) Also labeled as Figure B in Summary of key findings 6% 26% 34% 41% Benefits of private cloud The vast majority (96%) of ITDMs surveyed expect benefits to arise as a result of using private cloud. Moreover, this majority report an average of three expected benefits from installing private cloud, with an improved utilization of IT resources/greater cost efficiencies (71%) and greater agility/speed of task completion (61%) particularly highly expected (figure 14). Improved utilisation of IT resources/greater cost efficiencies Greater agility/speed of task completion Simplification of IT requests and management processes Improved application performance Improved collaboration between business and IT Modernised/improved computing tools/technologies 37% 55% 51% 61% 58% 71% Figure 14: Of the following, which would you expect as a result of using a private cloud solution? Asked of all respondents (750) Respondents with a mix of public and private cloud have more positive expectations of private cloud, selecting an average of four benefits as opposed to the average of three selected by those using a singular cloud type. 9

12 Hybrid cloud Hybrid cloud defined by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a cloud infrastructure composed of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures that remain unique but bound together to enable data and application portability, is wanted by the majority of ITDMs surveyed; 57% are looking to integrate hybrid cloud into their cloud strategy, and almost one in five (19%) are already implementing it (figure 15). Only a minority (24%) are not looking to hybrid as part of their strategy. If looking to adopt a hybrid solution, respondents expect a greater reliance on private cloud, with an expected 57%:43% split between private and public solutions on average (figure 16). Though a mixed methodology is in high demand, this shows that private cloud will remain the most popular form of the technology for the foreseeable future, and again confirms its importance for the majority of ITDMs surveyed. 43% 57% 24% Yes, we intend to integrate hybrid solutions into our cloud strategy 19% 57% Yes, we are already integrating hybrid cloud into our cloud strategy No, hybrid cloud is not part of our cloud strategy Private Public Figure 16: In 24 months' time, what percentage of your cloud computing resources do you see being on private clouds vs. public clouds? average Asked of cloud users whose organization plans to or is integrating hybrid solutions into their cloud strategy (679) Figure 15: Is hybrid cloud, a combination of private and public clouds, part of your overall cloud strategy? Asked of cloud users (683) These figures confirm that hybrid cloud environments are the preferred use of the technology. The reason for private cloud being preferred over public cloud is predominantly security based. Almost eight in ten (77%) IT managers surveyed agree that security concerns would be the reason to deploy certain applications in a private cloud rather than a public cloud (figure 17). Security concerns 77% Data compliance/regulatory demands 60% Proximity to users/performance concerns Economic uncertainty of public cloud 46% 40% Change control 36% Figure 17: Why would you prefer to deploy certain applications in a private cloud vs. public cloud? Asked of all respondents (750) While security is the most common motive for using private environments in favor of public solutions, it is not the only reason. With an average of three reasons being cited, private cloud clearly offers users more reason to be comfortable with their deployment. 10

13 Further analysis Sector The surveyed ITDMs in the retail sector are making the greatest demand on their private cloud deployments, expecting an average of five essential components compared to the average of four. In short, the respondents in this sector that previously reported experiencing the greatest number of benefits from cloud (as seen earlier) are demanding more features from private environments. 11

14 Wanted: a business focused, cloud management portal We have already seen the impacts of public cloud offerings and how business owners are expecting similar transparency from their IT department s offerings. ITDMs have also agreed that simplification of cloud management is a key element to the overall success of the enterprise. Furthermore, the majority of respondents have stated that a hybrid of private and public cloud environments is the strategy best suited for their enterprise in the future. Based on the study, if cloud environments were simplified, it is predicted that the time spent managing the environments would fall by an average of 33%. Similarly, the cost of managing cloud environments would fall by an expected average of 32% through simplification, meaning the current average spend of $47,172 per month would drop to around $32,000 (figure 19). The impact of simplification To combat the threat of cloud sprawl, many of the surveyed ITDMs are looking to simplify their cloud environments, predicting numerous savings to be made from taking such action. $47 32% $32 41% 22% 37% Current cost ($K) per month managing cloud computing environments Estimated cost ($K) per month managing cloud computing environments following predicted fall Predicted % reduction in cost if management of cloud computing environments were simplified Figure 19: Analysis of cost each month managing cloud computing environments versus how much money could be saved having simplified Asked of cloud users who know how much is spent on cloud management (608) More complex They are of the same complexity Less complex Figure 18: Taking into consideration all your cloud computing environments, are they on-average more complex than your traditional on-premise systems? Asked of cloud users (683) 12

15 The market demand for self-service portals There is a significant market demand for a self-service portal, with almost three quarters (73%) of respondents agreeing that this would be a useful tool for their business (figure 20). Those with a mixture of both public and private cloud environments are particularly in favor of a self-service tool, as 88% agree that it would be useful. As seen earlier, those with a mixed solution are also those who are most troubled by cloud sprawl. Despite this positivity for self-service portals, the majority (56%) of ITDMs surveyed believe that off-the-shelf management portals are too technical for business users. This shows that most off-the-shelf portals are not able to satisfy market demand; ITDMs are looking for a holistic portal which will meet the requirements of all user types. In this regard, what factors do ITDMs take into account when looking to purchase one? The main concern centers on ease of use. The majority (62%) of respondents is looking for a portal built for all types of users, not just technically able staff (figure 21). 16% 6% 4% 32% A portal built for all types of users, not just technically-able staff, in mind A portal built in a language that business understands 62% 61% 41% A portal built around business context to handle both private and 55% public clouds 1 extremely useful A portal built with the ability to more 5 not at all useful easily resize, configure and order 51% Figure 20: If IT professionals were able to provide business decision makers with a self-serve tool that would let them set up and manage their own environments within a private cloud, would the organization consider this to be a useful practice? Asked of all respondents (750) virtual machines in mind Figure 21: Which of the following would you take into account if/when looking for a cloud self-service portal? Asked of all respondents (750) A similar percentage (61%) also report that they look for a portal being built in a language that the business understands. The fact that the majority of ITDMs surveyed also say that a portal needs to be built around business context and that they need to be easy to resize and configure further highlights how complete the portal needs to be. 13

16 Business units intending to use a self-service portal Which departments are expected to be using these selfservice portals? Respondents anticipate rolling out a selfservice tool to four business units on average, confirming cloud computing environments that are simple to use will be accessed by numerous functions within the company. The two business units most likely to want a self-service cloud tool are development and engineering (figure 22). Note that just under half expect cloud to be deployed in non-technical departments finance, supply/procurement, marketing, HR, and sales. The research indicates that cloud solutions are not just expected to be used amongst tech-savvy departments, but throughout the business. Further analysis Sector There s a difference in the perceived impact of simplification across sectors surveyed. For respondents in financial services, they predict a savings of 27% in monthly cloud management spend compared to the average of 31% after simplification. Conversely, those surveyed in retail predict the greatest positive changes following a simplification of their cloud computing environment. They predict that the time spent managing cloud would fall by 37%, greater than the average of 33%. Development Engineering Finance Supply chain/procurement 53% 53% 47% 45% Additionally, the surveyed retail sector respondents are the most positive about the idea of a self-service tool. Not only do 78% of respondents in this sector feel that it would be an important tool, on average they are looking to roll out this sort of technology to the most business units; five units compared to the average of four. Marketing 44% Human resources 43% Sales 42% Customer service 37% Figure 22: For which business units within your organization do you envision using a self-service tool? Asked of respondents who would find a self-serve tool useful that would allow business decision makers to set up and manage their own environments (717) 14

17 Looking to partners to help with private cloud strategy As surveyed ITDMs look to deploy cloud solutions across the business that are easy to use while not falling into the pitfall of cloud sprawl, many are looking for a partner to help establish a robust cloud strategy and deploy the most appropriate cloud solution. The reason for this need for external help is due to the complexity of cloud, with the majority (57%) of respondents claiming to be struggling with this complexity (figure 23). A number of factors influence the choice of a partner company. The requirement cited by most is the need for a level of technical expertise in designing/implementing private cloud (72%), though half or more selected each one of the potential attributes (figure 25). Level of technical expertise in designing/implementing private cloud infrastructure 72% Use of robust private cloud management tools 61% 43% The ability to accelerate ROI 54% 57% Level of business/industry expertise 50% Figure 25: Which of the following attributes do you look for in a business partner in this regard? Asked of all respondents (750) Yes Figure 23: Is your organization struggling to keep up with the complexity of ever changing cloud technology? Asked of all respondents (750) No These figures show that a partner has to demonstrate numerous skills, abilities, and expertise before an ITDM will consider them as a viable cloud partner. Coupled with the recognition that simplification will drastically reduce the time and money spent managing these environments, this has led to over two-thirds (69%) openly admitting that they are looking to partner companies to help them establish a robust cloud strategy (figure 24). 31% 69% Yes Figure 24: Are you looking to partner organizations to help establish a robust cloud strategy? Asked to all respondents (750) Also labeled as Figure C in Summary of key findings No 15

18 Further analysis Sector The retail, private healthcare, and manufacturing sector respondents are the most likely to look to partner companies for help, with just over eight in ten in each (82%, 83%, and 83% respectively) looking for help from an external vendor. Financial services respondents are the least likely to look to a partner company; 52% reporting they will do so. This shows that those respondents who have already adopted cloud are also more likely to look to partners for help with the technology. Note that more than half of the respondents from sectors least likely to be adopting cloud, are also looking for help from outside the business. Country Of the ITDMs surveyed, the respondents from China are most likely to be looking to partner companies for help with cloud, where 92% intend to work with an external partner. These respondents have been an early adopter of cloud and it is interesting to see that these same respondents in China are also most willing to look for external help. A significant number of respondents in other markets also favor this external partner approach, with 86% in Brazil looking to partner companies for help with a robust cloud strategy, 84% in the USA, 62% in Japan, 61% in France and 60% in Australia (figure 26). This shows how the want of respondents to team with partner companies is relevant across the geographies. USA Brazil 84% 86% UK Germany 49% 50% France Sweden Japan 53% 61% 62% China 92% Australia 60% Figure 26: Are you looking to partner organizations to help establish a robust cloud strategy? Yes by country Asked to all respondents (750) 16

19 Conclusion A robust strategy and business focused user experience are keys to the success of private cloud The study reveals that cloud computing environments have been implemented to some extent in the majority of enterprises and are seen by IT decision makers (ITDMs) as key in helping transform businesses to be more successful. ITDMs see a multitude of business benefits arising from the use of public and private cloud computing environments including improved efficiency, improved agility and reduced costs, but most also agree there are challenges with cloud. For all of the benefits of cloud, there is clearly an issue of complexity resulting from cloud sprawl that is having an adverse effect on enterprises. The fact that many employees are bypassing the IT department and subscribing to cloud services on their own has resulted in inefficiencies for the integration and management with back-office business systems and applications. Business owners may believe they are achieving the quick and easy solution they want when they bypass their IT department. But the reality experienced is that issues begin to surface when this off-radar use of cloud services must be integrated with the backend systems of the business. Not only is this leading to inefficiencies but there is also the concern of additional risk being introduced into the ecosystem of the business with the use of unsanctioned cloud services. Seven in ten of the ITDMs surveyed believe that business owners are looking to IT to provide an experience more akin to that of public cloud providers. IT needs to win back their internal business customers and help stem the tide of employees signing up for outside services without IT s input. Businesses are demanding that their IT department have the same transparency as public cloud providers and that they also provide the same level of ease of use and on demand services with internal private cloud environments. In essence, they want IT to be easier to do business with. The study reveals there is a strong continued investment trend in private cloud technologies with 75% of respondents intending to invest in private cloud environments in the future. Private cloud is important to these ITDMs today and will continue to be strategic for these enterprises for some time. Private cloud provides many business benefits as well as a desired environment to host certain applications where security and compliance are concerns. In fact the research shows that of those looking to invest in private cloud in the future, an impressive 71% are planning in-house deployments for at least some of their environments. Both public and private clouds have their advantages and the research reveals that over half have adopted, to some extent, both within their enterprises. But, today the vast majority of public and private cloud installations are separate deployments. In many cases, separate stand-alone, individually managed environments are operated, potentially by many different groups within the company. ITDMs understand that integrated cloud environments can provide business benefits in many cases and are preparing to extend and integrate their private clouds to create hybrid cloud environments. They are looking to take advantage of hybrid clouds and build it as part of their strategy. Why is this? One reason may be a hybrid cloud environment permits them to use the cloud technologies that are best suited to a given purpose while IT still maintains control. Even with the foreseen growth in private cloud and the trend toward an integrated hybrid cloud future, the question still remains: how can IT offer what their internal business customers are looking for? When it comes to the self-service management aspect, business owners expect a self-service tool where simplicity is key. How does IT become more like a public cloud provider to their internal business customers? Even if they want to, they struggle as the tools just don t provide what is needed for business owners. IT wants to provide self-service, easy to use tools and sees value in it. IT can also become an internal service provider to the business and cross charge for IT services in the process. In the end, IT will be perceived as easier to do business with by empowering business owners to interact with private clouds just as they do with public clouds. IT can take private cloud to new heights by delivering what the business needs. The lessons learned in the way business users interact with public cloud can actually make IT more responsive and effective in the private cloud world thus resulting in added value to the business. The net of it all is, IT cannot be an impediment to business - IT must be more business friendly and effective with the private cloud services they provide to their internal customers. The issue is that most ITDMs are struggling to do this and over two-thirds (69%) openly admit that they are looking to partner with technology providers to help them establish a robust cloud strategy to get it done right. They also want help implementing the best private cloud solutions and tools for their enterprise, customized for their unique needs and specific business priorities. Collaborating with a skilled and knowledgeable partner can help avoid the issues of sprawl and the pressures of employees using unauthorized environments. A private cloud strategy must have a focus on the alignment between business and IT. This approach will benefit not only the IT department and business owner but also the business as a whole. 17

20 Recommendations Align private cloud and business strategy Taking the business benefits of private cloud to new heights requires a team approach between IT and business owners. Enterprises are looking for business oriented solutions which demands strong collaboration and understanding between business owners and IT. The solution must be one that can be tailored to needs of the business owners while still providing the governance and control required by the enterprise. In order to make private cloud more impactful for the business: To learn how Avanade s experts can deliver a private cloud solution to help empower your enterprise to rapidly respond to the ever changing demands of business while reducing costs and optimizing operations visit our private solution site or contact us. Learn from business owners. IT needs to involve business owners and determine what they really desire. Work as a team to define which specific scenarios will most benefit the business by adopting private cloud. A common example would be building private cloud capability in support of application development and test projects to gain better agility and faster internal service capabilities. Offer a business service, not technology infrastructure. Do not take a technical, infrastructure view to private cloud. IT should be offering a cloud service to address business scenarios to internal business customers. Adopt a private cloud solution that is understood by and meaningful to the business. Cloud and virtualization technology and capabilities are pervasive, but not very valuable unless they can be easily understood and leveraged to grow the business. Keep an eye on the future. With many different private cloud platforms and vendors to choose from, IT should choose one that is extensible and will grow with the needs of the business. For example, it will be important to maintain a consistent and familiar self-service capability for business owners regardless of whether resources are being requested and deployed in private, public or hybrid cloud environments. Look for a partner. A skilled and experienced partner can help empower the business with the right cloud strategy, solutions and tools to enable enterprises to take full advantage of cloud and gain maximum business value. Choose a partner who not only has deep technical expertise in cloud but one that also has the business and industry understanding, tools and methodologies to ensure long term success. 18

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