Study says businesses find opportunity in IaaS

As the cloud continues to take shape in the private sector, decision-makers are recognizing the benefits of using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This was highlighted in a recent study by Enterprise Strategy Group, which found that two-thirds of medium-sized businesses and enterprises are using IaaS to host mission-critical operations.

There is no longer any doubt that the cloud is making a significant impact on day-to-day business tasks, as organizations of all sizes from all industries are using the technology to enhance performance, boost mobility and reduce IT expenses. As the overall cloud market matures, IaaS will continue to evolve and become a particularly successful model of the technology.

"The study demonstrates that IaaS from cloud service providers is seeing broad adoption by mainstream business for business-critical applications and data, moving beyond test and development," said Mathew Lodge, vice president of cloud services at VMware.

How are companies using IaaS?
Enterprise Strategy Group found that 70 percent of IaaS users are leveraging the technology for cloud storage purposes, while another 58 percent of decision-makers said IaaS is boosting server performance. Another 53 percent said IaaS is enhancing their disaster recovery programs.

Despite the widespread adoption of IaaS, many companies are picky about which service provider they choose, as 80 percent said service and support were among the top characteristics required in a vendor, the study revealed. More than three-quarters also said a provider's infrastructure must be compatible with theirs.

"As IaaS adoption grows, so does the importance of strong customer service and support as well as the quality of the underlying technology," Lodge said. "Compatibility with existing virtualized data centers and private clouds was also key."

A separate report by Gartner noted that the IaaS market is rapidly expanding, as analysts forecast it to generate roughly $6.2 billion in revenue in 2012, up from $4.3 billion in 2011. Although the IaaS market was one-third the size of Software as a Service in 2010, they will be almost equal to each other by 2016.

"The cloud services market is clearly a high-growth sector within the overall IT marketplace," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner.

As the cloud industry expands, companies will use IaaS more frequently to improve mission-critical tasks performed on a daily basis.

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