Earlier this year, Capgemini released a 32 page report titled “A Close-up View of Microsoft Azure Adoption” that focuses on how Business Decision Makers are driving cloud trends. The report is based on a study that consisted of 460 detailed interviews with enterprises from around the world, most with >10,000 employees from many industries. The findings represented both IT executives and Line-of-Business decision-makers equally in an effort to provide a well-rounded view. Some of the (maybe not so surprising) highest level findings from their study include:
- Cloud decisions are being made more and more by line-of-business managers rather than, or with assistance from, IT.
- Almost no firms are making an ‘all-or-nothing’ decision about moving to the public cloud, but instead are taking a step-by-step approach and identifying/moving workloads that are less risky first.
- New applications are going to the public cloud first, some almost by default. Legacy systems are mostly being left where they are for the time being.
Business & IT Drivers for Selection of Windows Azure
Overall, 73% of the respondents indicated that Windows Azure is part of their overarching cloud strategy. Industries that deal directly with customers (B2C) are more progressive with their approach than industries that deal mostly with optimizing internal processes (automotive, manufacturing).
So what’s driving this adoption strategy of that 73%? Well, the drivers most commonly cited were reduced cost, reduced time to market, operational efficiencies, and improved customer demand.
But why Windows Azure over other public cloud platforms? The most common responses here were related to our ability to handle Big Data, the management and monitoring of applications, the depth of offerings, and trust. In fact, when asked about the benefits of Windows Azure, more than 1/3 of the respondents mentioned ‘trust’ and ‘confidence in vendor’.
The Role of a Systems Integrator
So this all sounds great for Microsoft, but what about the Systems Integration partners I work with across Central & Eastern Europe? You will also find validation of your efforts throughout this report, most notably in statements like this:
“Dealing with challenges – by orchestrating the overall Cloud landscape – will be the job of the CIO and IT function, and in many cases, this will be facilitated by Systems Integrators who have knowledge of the customer and the cloud vendor portfolio.“
Further along in the report, Capgemini finds that CIOs will actually lean more heavily on the Systems Integrator than the cloud vendor for defining SLAs:
“In our survey, 61% of respondents envisioned developing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with a Systems Integrator, and only 39% with a Cloud vendor.”
The study is comprehensive by offering broad representation of geography, industry, job title, and organization size, it’s insightful, and the results are encouraging, indicating that customer perceptions about public cloud adoption are shifting more quickly than I had thought. And while business seems to be taking more of a driver seat in the selection of applications, there is no doubt that IT, the CIO, and the Systems Integrator will all be key in execution.
The finding that line-of-business, rather than (or with) IT, is increasingly driving cloud adoption reflects the very nature that public cloud platforms offer way more than just an efficient way of deploying new applications. Windows Azure offers not only opportunities for efficiency and cost-savings, but often allows us to have conversations with customers about innovation, faster time to market, and better ways to compete, all of which are conversations that matter to line-of-business decision makers.