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Companies turning to multiple cloud models

Migration patterns and policy changes signal greater maturity

Companies turning to multiple cloud models

With 90% of companies claiming some form of cloud usage, many organizations have moved to the next step, leveraging multiple cloud models in different combinations to optimize benefits and efficiencies, according to new research from CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology industry.

As cloud computing becomes a default part of the IT landscape, more companies are relying on cloud computing for business processes such as storage (59%), business continuity and disaster recovery (48%), and security (44%), CompTIA’s Fourth Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study reveals.

“Once companies hit a stage where they are using cloud systems as a standard part of IT architecture, they weigh the pros and cons of various providers and models and continually shift to achieve the optimal mix,” says Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, market research, CompTIA. “A healthy percentage of companies are moving from one public cloud provider to another, moving from a public cloud provider to their own private cloud, or moving applications back on-premise.”

CompTIA’s study found that more than six in ten cloud users have made secondary shifts of infrastructure or applications following their original transition to the cloud:

  • Public to Public: The most popular type of move is from one public cloud provider to another. Factors for switching providers include security, costs, features, open standards, outages, and customer service.
  • Public to Private: Many businesses may give the label “private cloud” to a virtualized set of resources. A true private cloud employs software that manages resources automatically, dynamically allocating as needed without manual intervention.
  • Public to On-Premise: By far the primary motivation to move back to an on-premise system is security. Companies may simply move a particular application that gives them concern, while they still have less sensitive applications on public cloud platforms.

“In the future, companies will have their architecture spread across multiple clouds along with on-premise systems, choosing the option that best suits their needs for a particular application,” says Robinson. “This is no different than a traditional data center with servers that are configured for different purposes, but the management challenges are much greater. As the industry moves toward a multicloud paradigm, there will be ample opportunity for IT channel firms to help manage the growing complexity.”

While cloud computing is becoming highly adopted and well accepted, there are still many challenges to be dealt with as companies transform themselves:

  • Procurement: The incidence of rogue IT—where lines of business are procuring their own cloud solutions without necessarily involving the IT department—has dropped slightly, but companies must still find ways to ensure that both business needs and IT concerns are being addressed.
  • Cost Tracking: 9% of companies are not tracking costs and another 12% are finding savings to be lower than estimated. Higher usage costs, staff training, and network upgrades can contribute to cost surprises.
  • Policies: Companies that have three or more years of cloud adoption history find that modifying policy has become a greater challenge than integration, showing that transforming business practices is just as difficult as a technical migration.
John Ginovsky

John Ginovsky is a contributing editor of Banking Exchange and editor of the publication’s Tech Exchange e-newsletter. For more than two decades he’s written about the commercial banking industry, specializing in its technological side and how it relates to the actual business of banking. In addition to his weekly blogs—"Making Sense of It All"—he contributes fresh, original stories to each Tech Exchange issue based on personal interviews or exclusive contributed pieces. He previously was senior editor for Community Banker magazine (which merged into ABA Banking Journal) and for ABA Banking Journal and was managing editor and staff reporter for ABA’s Bankers News. Email him at [email protected].

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