A recent survey by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) discovered that three-quarters of organisations utilise at least one cloud computing service, which is a sharp rise from previous surveys. Not surprisingly, the implementation of cloud computing services came up as a key area of focus for IT with this being where IT departments are most likely to increase spending for the fourth consecutive year. They see the cloud as a cost mitigation strategy and a way to relieve the internal storage burden in light of rampant data growth and the demand for stronger data protection.
ESG found the highest incidence of cloud usage among organisations that had been in existence for less than ten years, while those that had been around for more than 50 years were three times likelier to have no plans for or even interest in cloud services. Despite that, resistance to the cloud is fading, even in the most traditional businesses. Software as a Service (SaaS) usage is up to 68% this year for all organisations, up from 63% last year.
Success in that arena is propelling IT to invest further in the cloud as shown by the fact that usage of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is up from 33% to 41% this year. Similarly, Platform as a Service (PaaS) has risen from 27% to 35% in that time. Clearly, IT departments are growing in confidence in what they can do with the cloud. As the cloud proves itself as an enterprise ready platform, more and more companies are willing to operate business critical applications in the cloud.
But as the tentacles of the cloud reach ever further across the enterprise, it becomes all the more important to architect the solution correctly. Historically, the adoption of the latest technology typically leads to carelessness in implementation as was the case with rampant server sprawl when x86 servers became popular. More recently, the allure of virtualisation as a way to consolidate those server farms gave rise to another form of sprawl – VM sprawl. Many companies ended up with thousands of VMs scattered across the enterprise with little idea of what was running where. Consequently, many orphan VMs continued to consume resources without providing benefit to the organisation.
Therefore with the cloud, it is vital to learn from history and implement it sensibly and systematically. As cloud complexity grows, custom cloud development plays an important role in ensuring that the organisation achieves business value from cloud projects.
Businesses that select the Microsoft Azure Cloud, for example, will require enterprise software to be tailored to that cloud platform. Microsoft .NET and SQL Server-based applications utilising the SharePoint Server or BizTalk Server platforms are an effective way to standardise business process management, document management and institute collaboration systems.
Ballard Chalmers has deep expertise in these Microsoft technologies and has been involved in custom cloud development since 1998. From application modernisation to a comprehensive cloud migration, Ballard Chalmers has the expertise and experience to support your development requirements.
By Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a freelance editor and writer, specialising in the Information Technology sector.