As the decade wears on, cloud computing is becoming more integral to businesses across many sectors. The IBM Institute for Business Value has been tracking these trends as businesses explore how cloud integration can offer advantages in their business efficiency, innovative processes, and overall growth.
These studies reveal a great deal about the growing importance of cloud integration. In 2012, for example, only about a third of business leaders had a solid plan for adopting cloud technologies. In 2016, by contrast, most businesses had moved well beyond that stage: almost four fifths described their businesses’ cloud initiatives as “coordinated” or “fully integrated.” But the cloud, for all its rising importance, hasn’t completely supplanted private servers.
In fact, IBM reports, businesses expect to keep almost half of their computing workloads on dedicated on-premise servers in the coming months and years. This means that one of the keystone business planning dilemmas will be: how does a business integrate traditional IT solutions with the public and private cloud?
The Importance of Cloud Integration
Projections over a four-year period going from two years before the 2016 survey date show that the proportions of workload distribution remain largely constant:
- 25% of the workload falls to the public cloud,
- 31% to the self-hosted private cloud, and
- 44% to dedicated on-premise servers.
In the four-year period of interest, none of those percentages have shifted or are expected to shift more than a single percentage point. That means that strategies developed today will likely remain valuable for some time in the future, highlighting the importance of effective cloud integration.
The difference is obvious in companies which assess themselves to be high-performing, as compared to the ones considered low-performing. Over half of high-performing organizations have fully integrated cloud initiatives within their business, whereas fewer than a quarter of low-performing companies do.
The Benefits of Cloud Integration
Coordinating cloud initiatives offers a number of benefits. Centralization of effort limits design drift, lowers maintenance costs and training burdens, reduces the chances of data integrity violations through duplicate data, and lowers operating costs by making workflows more efficient. Cloud initiatives can also add value to companies by allowing them to expand into new services and offerings with a significantly reduced infrastructure investment, whereas dedicated on-site servers reduce costs when it comes to large dataset transmission and storage and may have positive security implications.
All in all, successful businesses seem not to fully commit to public cloud, private cloud, or private dedicated servers to the exclusion of other services and infrastructures. Instead, they use each one for its specific set of operational advantages, and integrate them into a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.
To learn more about how cloud integration would benefit your business, contact us today.