Companies often use multiple cloud providers

The cloud computing landscape has provided decision-makers with new opportunities to expand and improve operations for a fraction of the price the same projects would have cost using legacy hardware and software. For this reason, enterprises around the world are embracing the hosted solutions in an effort to take advantage of these transformations, which is making some conventional IT providers obsolete.

A recent InformationWeek study of nearly 450 IT professionals found that approximately 40 percent of respondents are now using the cloud, up from 33 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, another 13 percent of companies are planning on working with a vendor to implement the cloud within the next 12 months, while 27 percent are considering the benefits of the cloud.

While Software as a Service was initially the frontman of the cloud orchestra, executives are quickly realizing the true potential of Platform and Infrastructure as a Service, as the number of SaaS users dropped 8 percentage points from 2012 to 49 percent of respondents in 2013. Conversely, approximately 30 percent of firms are using IaaS, up from 27 percent in 2012. This is largely because companies are recognizing that current network architectures simply can't keep up with today's demands.

"I believe that cloud computing has the potential to be a great asset to many businesses. The biggest concern will be the infrastructure," one respondent told InformationWeek. "I do not believe the current bandwidth can support a much greater demand."

Companies have trouble narrowing cloud projects
While cloud adoption rates are on the rise, decision-makers are generally taking an approach that consists of leveraging services from multiple providers. In fact, only 21 percent of businesses have a single cloud vendor in 2013, down from 27 percent in 2012. On the other hand, 66 percent of respondents have between two and five providers, while another 8 percent have six to 10.

While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it could invite unnecessary complication. For this reason, decision-makers who are new to the cloud should consider only using a single provider, at least until they are familiar with the technology.

A separate report by RnR Market Research revealed that the market for cloud business solutions is forecast to generate more than $123 billion in revenue by 2019. This suggests that enterprises will continue to leverage the cloud in the coming years. As this happens, executives need to plan ahead to ensure their use of the hosted services is financially and operationally effective.

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