Nearly half of organizations are beyond the pilot phase for cloud adoption, according to a new report commissioned by Microsoft. The study also found that about a third of respondents now have a formal cloud computing plan.
Called "Hosting and Cloud Go Mainstream: 2014" and conducted by 451 Research LLC, the report said that on-premises private clouds were 26 percent of on-premises infrastructure spending last year. Hosted private clouds are expected to account for the highest growth rate of infrastructure off the premises, about 32 percent of spending over the next 24 months.
The study also sought to determine best practices for cloud computing. The top four best practices were having a well-defined architecture for security, understanding who the end users are, training users to be cautious with access and security, and having a well-defined architecture for performance.
Seventy percent of the respondents currently procure Web site hosting, 64 percent storage and backup services, 56 percent dedicated servers and 54 percent database hosting.
While the average public cloud spending will continue to be about the same in two years as now -- about 25 percent of spending for hosted infrastructure services -- the spending for hosted private clouds is expected to increase slightly (28 percent today versus 32 percent in two years). However, spending on traditional dedicated deployments will decrease from 48 percent now to 42 percent then.
On average, standalone non-virtualized infrastructure is about 43 percent of on-premise infrastructure spending today, decreasing to 37 percent in two years. Virtualized infrastructure, currently at 31 percent, will rise a bit to 35 percent. Automated and orchestrated private cloud spending today will remain about the same -- 26 percent now compared with 28 percent in two years.
Sixty-one percent of hybrid users have configured on-premise, private cloud for interoperability with a hosted private cloud, while 42 percent had configured an on-premise private cloud with a public cloud. Thirty-nine percent had done so with a hosted private cloud and a public cloud.
'Gateway to Hybrid'
Marco Limena, vice president of Hosting Service Providers at Microsoft, said in a statement that "hosted private cloud is a gateway to hybrid cloud environments for many customers." He added that "it's clear that we've reached a tipping point where most companies have moved beyond the discovery phase and are now moving forward with cloud deployments."
As cloud deployments continue to increase, security obviously remains a key concern. Michelle Bailey, senior vice president at 451 Research, told news media that her company's research showed "60 percent of customers would pay their hosting service provider a 26 percent premium on average for security guarantees."
The report was compiled from responses by more than 2,000 IT decision-makers at companies of all sizes who are buying hosting or Software-as-a-Service in 11 countries, including the U.S., the UK, Germany, India and Brazil.