Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What Are You Waiting For? The Cloud Era is HERE!

by Kevin L. Jackson
(This post first appeared at http://blog.learningtree.com)

The revolutionary business aspects of cloud excite me every day, but the business diversity is even more exciting. This fact really struck me after teaching my last Learning Tree Cloud Computing Introduction class in New York City. I’ve been in the regular rotation here for four months now and have taught three classes during that time. The chart below breaks out the students in these classes by industry.

Introduction to Cloud Computing by industry bmp
Learning Tree Intro to Cloud Computing Students by Industry (Jackson 2014)

The heavy US Government slant can of course be attributed to my northern Virginia residency, but the Federal Government has indeed taken on cloud in a big way and the educational focus I’ve experienced from them is commendable. The number of other industries seeking cloud knowledge is also enlightening. As I’ve said many times before, cloud computing is not about technology. It represents a business revolution that is now being universally embraced. In spite of the industry diversity, however, student experiences that drive them to my class and the questions they ask are very similar.
Their stories mostly involve declarations from senior executives or business managers about the imperative to adopt cloud. Marching orders directing an expeditious transformation are then promulgated with little or no understanding of what the undertaking involves. Senior IT managers then show up in the Intro to cloud class asking:
  • Is cloud secure?
  • Which cloud is best?
  • How much will this cost?
  • What do I need to do to make this happen now?

The recent Dell sponsored Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI) survey actually supports my anecdotal observations. This survey of more than 2,000 global organizations found that security is the biggest concern in adopting cloud. Even with this concern voiced, 97 percent of organizations surveyed use or plan to use cloud. This so called cloud computing security “barrier” was expressed by 52% of the survey population. What kind of concern is this!!

While security concerns are supposedly holding organizations back from investing in cloud, a lack of readily available security information is similarly preventing organizations from being prepared during a security breach. Only 30 percent of respondents said they have the right information available to make risk-based decisions, and only one in four organizations surveyed actually has a plan in place for all types of security breaches.

The Dell GTAI findings also overwhelmingly confirms that we are in the cloud era. They show a strong correlation between cloud use and company growth. Of those using cloud, 72 percent of organizations surveyed experienced 6 percent growth or more in the last three years, with just 4 percent experiencing zero or negative growth. This is in sharp contrast with companies not using cloud, where just 24 percent have growth rates of 6 percent or more, and 37 percent experienced either zero or negative growth. The business benefits of cloud computing are even more prevalent when organizations use more than one type of cloud solution. For example, organizations using three or more types of cloud solutions experienced a 15 percent increase in employee productivity relative to those using only one type of cloud solution.

Despite cloud usage rates and the benefits stated above, there are notable challenges facing cloud computing adoption and implementation, most of which stem from a lack of understanding and experience as well as security concerns. Organizations rely heavily on third parties for information about cloud, with 58 percent of those surveyed turning to an IT partner and 45 percent using vendor websites for information. Organizations’ limited experience with cloud computing was one of the top three reasons (33 percent) why they haven’t yet implemented cloud. Security, as previously stated, was the top concern at 52 percent.

So all this data basically confirms what I’ve seen in my classroom. A transition to cloud is inevitable for all industry verticals so don’t fight the feeling! In fact, Learning Tree actually provides an entire Cloud Computing Curriculum to help.

See you in class soon!!!

 ( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)

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