Cloud Now Default for Majority of Enterprise Computing Projects
It wasn't so long ago that the cloud was regarded with skepticism, and any use of the cloud that was more than storage of the simplest and least classified of files was regarded as nigh-suicidal. Something changed, however, as cloud developers focused on security alongside of features. This focus on security changed a lot of minds, and now, according to a report from ServiceNow, the cloud is the basis for a majority of enterprise projects.
The ServiceNow report—tellingly titled “The 2016 Cloud Computing Tipping Point”—revealed that the reality of cloud use has finally caught up with the hype, and fully 52 percent of enterprises, a simple majority, turn to cloud as the default basis for enterprise IT operations. That's beat out perennial favorite on-premises data centers, and that wasn't the only impressive point. Seventy-seven percent noted that the shift to a cloud-based environment would be fully complete before 2019 dawns.
It's also been found that 94 percent, almost every respondent in the survey, was involved with the so-called DevOps movement, which traces its own lineage back to agile development. With DevOps leading the charge in both creating and hosting new apps and services, it's brought a whole new focus to development at the IT level. Indeed, 76 percent of respondents cited DevOps as a big reason in making the move to cloud-first operations thanks to the increasing numbers of new applications which require the cloud to operate.
This move to cloud-first operations is putting some strain on information technology (IT) as well, as new skills are required to get along in such a world. Eighty-nine percent of respondents found that IT departments were lacking in the needed skills to be successful, and 88 percent thought that cloud could be a functional replacement for a formal IT department in at least some cases. However, 72 percent likewise believed that the move to cloud-based operations made IT departments more relevant to the business, and 68 percent noted that IT will be “completely essential” to future operations.
It might seem contradictory to say that cloud could replace IT departments outright in some cases, but at the same time, IT departments were essentially vital to the operation of businesses. That's not so far out of line; after all, we have automated systems that serve many functions of a call center, but the call center is more vital than ever. Why? Because the nature of the function has changed; instead of using automated systems to ditch the call center altogether, we now use the automated systems to serve simple functions and free up the call center for more complex tasks. IT likely isn't different here.
So though cloud will change the nature of IT as we know it, we likely won't be jettisoning the IT department. Retraining and new education may be necessary, but the IT department will likely continue to keep the computers on for some time to come.
Edited by Alicia Young