Cloud computing: Is IaaS living up to expectations?
- A survey conducted by Computing Research shows that 49% of organizations described themselves as reasonably satisfied with IaaS — only 21% claiming to be very satisfied
- The two most disappointing aspects of IaaS are the lack of discovery of new markets and the impact on operating costs, with up to 44% saying their cloud infrastructure had ended up costing a little more than they expected overall, while 19% felt like they were overspending by a lot
2020 has been a tumultuous year for businesses and organizations scraping through to the end of Q4. However, big wins have been a common occurrence for cloud computing providers who are reaching new highs, as the adoption of cloud services continues across a wide range of organizations — both public and private.
For most organizations, transitioning to the cloud is the first step of their digital transformation journey and its a proven key to thriving in the digital world. The infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market in particular has grown by more than one third in 2019 alone according to industry estimates, which has taken the global IaaS market to around US$44.5 billion in revenues.
A new paper published by Computing Research survey of 150 technical and business decision-makers from organizations across a wide cross-section of UK enterprises found that that while consumption of cloud services is likely to grow over the next three years, there are still several key technical and cost concerns are hampering the effectiveness of IaaS for businesses.
As the cloud has become a way for many businesses and public sector organizations to continue to function, 85% expect their consumption of cloud services to increase, with 38% expecting it to do so significantly. From those surveyed, only 49% of organizations described themselves as reasonably satisfied with the cloud, and only 1/5 claimed to be very satisfied.
With the findings from this research pointing towards IaaS being somewhat of an underwhelming technology, has IaaS really lived up to expectations?
While the global COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on organizations across the board, it is expected that in a post-pandemic world, the growth of IaaS will continue to accelerate following workload migrations onto flexible IaaS platforms. As many organizations migrated to IaaS to enable business to continue as usual, the prospect of them moving back to an on-premise environment is unlikely.
Global behemoths Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft lead the market in IaaS with hyperscalers undoubtedly dominating the market, however, the survey suggests that with businesses seeking to build flexible, hybrid infrastructure platforms, hyperscalers are falling short of what is required.
Along with skill shortages, security tops the list of technical concerns for hyperscale IaaS at 42%, while compliance follows at 37%. This is because they survey states, “although hyperscalers do provide security and compliance tools as chargeable extras, they do not manage them.”
Get what you want
For most organizations involved in the research, the technical aspects make only a part of the reason why IaaS is falling short of expectations.
The two most disappointing aspects of IaaS is the lack of discovery of new markets and the impact on operating costs. Up to 44% said their cloud infrastructure had ended up costing a little more than they expected overall, while 19% felt like they were overspending by a lot. The research goes on to say that only a third of organizations were paying about what they expected or less.
If enterprises are to get what they want from IaaS, the survey recommends “to set clear expectations prior to migration.” A clear understanding of technical requirements and how they translate into provider charges will help companies reduce unnecessary costs, and enable them to tailor infrastructure requirements to ensure they don’t end up overpaying.