• April 5, 2017

Opportunities Still Abound for Cloud Transformation, 451 Research Finds

The IT environments at 80 percent of organizations require moderate or significant transformation to meet business requirements for migrating workloads to the cloud and keeping cloud spending on an upward trend, according to recent results of 451's Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud Transformation study.

The latest survey finds that 22 percent of companies have adopted a cloud-first approach. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)/public cloud is the fastest-growing cloud model.

With organizations increasingly choosing IaaS for mission-critical applications, service provider selection is a critical part of digital transformation. However, organizations are concerned about service providers' perceived ability to align IT and business requirements.

"As organizations implement IT transformation in earnest, they are increasingly relying on strategic partners for operational assistance. Those IaaS service providers who position infrastructure and technological innovation alongside meeting business requirements will be best positioned to capitalize on this market opportunity," said Melanie Posey, research vice president and lead analyst for 451's Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud Transformation service, in a statement.

IaaS providers received consistently high ratings on both the promise and fulfillment of service attributes, such as uptime/performance, security, and technical expertise.They received lower ratings on service-delivery factors, such as understanding business requirements, multicloud/hybrid cloud support, and enterprise-level customer support.

451 Research's IaaS Vendor Window underscores Amazon Web Services' dominant market position, having outpaced competitors on multiple promise and fulfillment rating attributes, most notably breadth of services/features, brand/reputation, technical expertise, and innovation. Of respondents surveyed, 55.8 percent are using AWS for IaaS. However, for the first time, AWS's customer ratings fell behind those of other IaaS providers on value for money/cost, where Google Cloud Platform was rated highest, and "understands my business," where IBM/SoftLayer and Microsoft Azure obtained higher scores.

Many organizations use multiple IaaS providers, and Microsoft Azure is emerging as a formidable challenger, closing the market adoption gap with AWS. While AWS remains the top pick as respondents' most important IaaS provider (39 percent), nearly 35 percent of respondents named Microsoft their most important IaaS provider, up from 20.2 percent in the previous survey.

Microsoft is also closing the customer perceptions gap with AWS, posting slightly above-average scores for overall promise and fulfillment, as does Google Cloud Platform, which secured particularly strong marks for service reliability and value for money/cost. Google and Microsoft are seeing higher overall adoption rates since the previous survey in 2015.

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