Enterprise IT executives expect 60 per cent of workloads to run in the cloud by 2018, as organisations reassess business models amidst accelerating adoption levels.
Findings from 451 Research indicates that 41 per cent of all enterprise workloads are currently running in some type of public or private cloud, with enterprises most likely to use on-premises private cloud and software as a service (SaaS), each accounting for 14 per cent of all applications.
According to the analyst firm, usage of on-premises private cloud will remain flat while SaaS is expected to grow sharply to nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of all enterprise workloads by mid-2018.
But for all the hype and attention associated with infrastructure as a service (IaaS), just six per cent of enterprise workloads are currently running on IaaS, representing a small piece of applications run, and the smallest portion for any public or private cloud type today.
However, findings suggest that IaaS is likely to see the highest growth, with usage predicted to double to 12 per cent of workloads over the next two years.
Supporting the IaaS growth trend, cloud usage is currently strongest in categories that have traditionally been drivers of IaaS adoption, such as web/media (14 per cent) and application development (eight per cent).
Consequently, 451 Research predicts strong growth in critical enterprise workload categories, such as data and analytics and business applications.
Indicative of the early stages of a much larger trend, usage is predicted to more than double, from seven per cent to 16 per cent for data workloads and from four to nine per cent for business applications.
"The predicted doubling of IaaS usage is the highest growth expectation for any type of cloud and points to significant revenue potential for vendors in this space," 451 Research director, Andrew Reichman, said.
"Because cloud delivers increasing agility and flexibility to better fit ever-changing business needs, IaaS and SaaS allow organisations to focus their efforts on their business, rather than on maintaining costly and complex data centres and infrastructure.
"If used properly, it has the potential to dramatically improve efficiency and results of business technology usage."
Reichman said cloud-first (an approach where a cloud solution is considered or prioritised for all workload deployments) is common among enterprises, with 38 per cent of respondents saying they have such a policy today.
"The most common triggers for increased cloud usage include events such as mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, along with technology events like hardware refreshes, software upgrades and data centre capacity expansions," Reichman added.
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