Without a doubt, cloud computing is one of the current darlings of the development community. This begs a question: what forces are motivating individuals and organizations to adopt cloud computing strategies? Understanding what motivates people to choose cloud technology over tradtional software solutions can give us some insight into the future of cloud technology.
Participants in the Cloud Connect 2011 Expo were asked to complete a survey designed to identify cloud compting trends. In total, over 3,000 people attended the event, and all were offered the opportunity to take part in the survey. Twitter was used to recruit respondents over a period of five days. The survey itself was completed by approximately 150 individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Respondents who work for cloud providers were eliminated, leaving 130 surveys used in the final data compilation.
One section of the questionnaire was specifically devoted to the motivators for cloud adoption. In other words, why are companies and individuals choosing the cloud instead of a more traditional software product?
Eight possible motivators were considered:
- Lower Costs: money is saved thanks to reduced upfront investment and lower total costs.
- Elasticity: the ability to change the capacity size quickly.
- Speed to Deploy: total time to develop, test, and deploy is reduced through the cloud.
- Better Security: cloud providers can often offer more advanced security features than would be affordable for a small business.
- Arm's-length Employees: Fewer security problems and less overall fraud can occur when the cloud employees are working for a third party service provider.
- Wide Set of Services: cloud providers offer additional services (message busses, mailing, and payment systems, image manipulation, and large-scale storage) to sweeten the deal for smaller businesses.
- Access to Talent: companies don't have to seek out and hire talent internally.
- Just Like Cloud: the client likes the idea of cloud computing.
As indicated by the graph, lower costs, elasticity, and deployment speed were the most important motivators among cloud computing enthusiasts.
Motivations by Company Size
It seems that mid-sized companies (101-1000 employees) are attracted to the wide set of services offered by cloud providers. Both very small and very large companies value the elasticity inherent to cloud products.
Motivations by Company Type
Public companies value security more than most. Private non-tech companies operating regionally are attracted to the wide set of services offered by cloud providers.