A growing number of businesses are deploying cloud services – especially private clouds, according to research conducted by Osterman Research and Electric Cloud. However, a majority of companies report that these services are underutilized.The survey, conducted with senior-level IT professionals, including CIOs, directors and vice presidents, found that 48 percent of companies are using or are planning to use private clouds. Movement to public cloud services has been slower to take hold. One in five organizations (20 percent) is currently using public cloud computing, and another 34 percent plan to make that change. However, a majority (52 percent) of customers reported that their cloud infrastructures are rarely or never used and 47 percent said these systems had some or lots of excess capacity. In addition, 57 percent of respondents either did not know or could not quantify their ROI on cloud computing.
These numbers illustrate that the technology is still in a nascent stage of development. Small and medium businesses may be testing their cloud options to see how the technology impacts their IT infrastructure. If the results are positive, they may move more of their resources to that platform in the coming months.
Despite the shortcomings, there is significant momentum behind cloud services, with 2010 being a watershed year for the technology. Fifty-five percent of companies using public cloud computing and 39 percent of those using private cloud computing first implemented the technology last year. Spending on cloud-based infrastructure averaged $6,335, or $23.31 per employee, in 2010, and the numbers are expected to rise to $6,920, or $26.63 per employee, in 2011.
In sum, corporations seem to understand the potential benefits that cloud computing offers. However, more work needs to be done before they are maximizing their investments on this emerging IT infrastructure. So if you haven't moved much of your IT infrastructure to the cloud, you are not alone.