The Future of Cloud is Hybrid

Last month, we invited you to participate in the 2014 North Bridge Research and GigaOm Research Future of Cloud Computing Survey. Thank you to those who took the time to share your opinion. The results of the survey are now in, and I’m excited to share a glimpse into what you told us is next for cloud computing.

What comes across to me loud and clear from this survey is that even more businesses are no longer thinking “why cloud?” but will focus the next 12-24 months determining “how do I execute a long-term cloud strategy?” As you consider your next steps in the cloud here are some of the principles we think can guide your thinking and investments:

  • Hybrid is the future. Forty-two percent of organizations who responded are currently emphasizing hybrid clouds in their cloud computing strategies, and this is expected to increase to 55 percent in five years’ time. While private cloud will continue to be a key part of hybrid strategies, standalone private cloud usage, on the other hand, is expected to decline by almost half, from 24 percent to 13 percent.
  • Cloud usage will grow for both IT and business functions. A large majority of respondents indicated that they will be moving both IT and business processes to the cloud. The IT applications most likely to have a significant presence in the cloud were cited as Web Presence (63 percent) and Communications (54 percent) while on the business side, sales and marketing (52 percent) and business analytics and customer service (44 percent) applications will move to the cloud. Further, over the next two years, Database-as-a-Service is expected to grow from 28 percent to nearly 50 percent.
  • Infrastructure as a Service stands strong. Fifty-six percent of respondents cited they are already using IaaS Compute and 54 percent are using cloud-based Storage. IaaS services will to continue to grow with Software Defined Networking (SDN) expected to more than double from 19 percent to nearly 40 percent over the next two years.

These findings closely support what I’m hearing in my daily conversations with customers – they want to move to the cloud, but they want to do it on their terms, and they want to get be able to benefit from cloud everywhere. This is why Microsoft is focusing on breaking down the boundaries around the cloud and that’s why we’ve worked to deliver a consistent hybrid cloud that spans customer, partner and Azure datacenters – making application mobility easier and helping customers avoid public cloud lock-in.

We’re also focused on effectively blending infrastructure and platform services so developers and IT Pros alike no longer have to work in multiple, disparate environments, or sacrifice speed, efficiency and choice. We believe customers need this breadth of services, they need to be able to connect it all and they need a vendor with the experience to help them embrace the power of ‘and’ and bring it all together. No other vendor is taking this comprehensive approach to cloud to help customers embrace the power of ‘and’ today.

The future of cloud is fast approaching and if you want cloud on your terms, Microsoft has a hybrid cloud that delivers. Find out more about what customers and the industry are saying in the Future of Cloud here.

– Mike Schutz, General Manager, Cloud Platform Marketing, Microsoft