December 4th, 2008 by Julia Lim, VP, Marketing
This is something we’ve been talking more and more about. All the discussion around virtualization, automation and cloud computing is not just hype for the sake of hype – what’s the latest hottest thing in the market. Instead virtualization and automation technologies and tools are component technologies for cloud computing. These technologies will help IT organizations to be more efficient and do “more with less,” which is more important now than ever before.
Tom Bittman, VP & Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, ran a session on “The Future of Infrastructure & Operations: The Engine of Cloud Computing”. In his opinion, modern infrastructures will focus on service orientation and agility…shifting it from simply running the organization to facilitating transformation.
This is especially important when you look at how much of the IT budget is still dedicated to treading water; for the customers Tom speaks to, this can be in the range of 60-80% of the IT budget spent against just keeping what you already have up and running. In his estimation, successful orgs can drop this percentage to 10-30% through a mix of virtualization, consolidation and automation and shift more of the spending to enable critical business transformation. That is a great goal for businesses, and that can take advantage of the challenges facing everyone today and instead turn them into opportunities to drive forward.
To this end, he sees 3 trends for where modern infrastructures are headed:
- Services – Running IT like a business; Services-oriented automation
- Agility – Pervasive connections; Rapid response time expectations
- Cloud – the Internet; Shareable technologies
The big cloud computing providers today – Microsoft, Amazon and Google – will be catalysts for business transformation by leveraging their economies of scale to lower barriers to entry for their customers and enabling agility. Interestingly though, what we see of cloud computing from the big guys today will not be where we end up; shareable technologies and business models that leverage for example the large “infrastructure as a service” providers will create many opportunities for new cloud computing providers, potentially numbering in the thousands.
A style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies.
How many of you already use or are planning to use external cloud services in place of what could be internal IT services?
Use already: 20%
By 2009: 11%
By 2010: 20%
By 2011: 6%
By 2012: 8%
So an overwhelming majority will use external cloud services – 89% of respondents.
The cloud is real.