As enterprise customers prepare for a cloudy future, there is significant greenfield opportunity for cloud-enabling technology vendors in the next two-plus years. We are continuing to see the balance of attention shift away from hardware- to software-based technologies, with seven of the top 10 by new opportunity being software.
The rise of software-defined infrastructure
Looking into the next two years, the biggest decision for enterprises and the biggest opportunity for technology and service providers lies with the choice of cloud platform, with more than 30% of respondents planning to select a platform for first-time deployment in the next two-plus years. This is followed by service catalogs at 20%, converged infrastructure at 18%, usage-based reporting/accounting at 17% and hardware cloud appliances at 16%. While the hardware-oriented integrated platforms play a significant role, it is clear that software-defined infrastructure is in the ascendant from a strategic decision-making perspective.
Anecdotal commentary illustrates the degree of transition and variety of circumstances faced by TheInfoPro’s respondent community in making technology selections:
- “Dramatically more [spending on cloud platform] this year. I will increase it by about eightfold. We have some large applications that now have confidence that the cloud can deliver what they need, instead of the datacenter. Instead of a second datacenter, the cloud. [Why now?] Cloud maturity.” – LE, Transportation
- “[The service catalog is] in production, but nobody uses it. It’s easier to call, and it just hasn’t got that sort of traction yet. It’s like putting my kids in the candy store – they get all confused, don’t know what they want. It’s got its value, but requires internal maturity of folks.” – LE, Financial Services
- “[Converged infrastructure is] just rolling into production. It’s got a lot of hype. I don’t think it’s the solution for everything, but the business sees it as the magic bullet we’ve been missing, speed of delivery on projects. [Everybody in the business] thinks it’s the holy grail. On the ground [in IT], we’re a bit more cynical about it [converged infrastructure]. The advantage of the converged infrastructure team – they can do everything themselves [storage, network, etc.]. Other teams have barriers in place to prevent efficient delivery, you have to do things in steps, wait on other teams. My personal opinion, removing silos will speed up delivery.” – LE, Services: Business/Accounting/Engineering
- “We will explore [usage-based accounting] how to show the costs, which will dovetail with our switch to a resource consumption model. It will be tied into the capacity planning side.” – MSE, Telecom/Technology
- “[For hardware cloud appliance:] We are still looking, HP may not be the correct fit. The performance was not good enough to justify the cost.” – LE, Education