saugatuck_logo_2010.jpg The will-we-won’t-we debate over the deployment of Cloud-based solutions continues. This time its Cloud technology consultancy Saugatuck’s (news, site) turn arguing in their latest report that while it is inevitable that enterprises will take to the Cloud, it is effective management of  Cloud deployments that will make it successful or not.

The findings are published in the recently released strategic research report from Saugatuck called Lead, Follow, and Get Out of the Way: A Working Model for Cloud IT through 2014. The report says that while Cloud deployment is exploding worldwide, the ability to manage company Cloud strategies have not developed in tandem.

In fact, the research suggests that management of deployments in some companies is so poor that the potential financial gains from using the Cloud will be offset to the point of introducing additional costs if current practices continue.

Clouds In The Future

So maybe that’s a bit pessimistic, but the research which consists of a global web survey of 670 user executive respondents in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Pacific Rim countries, shows that companies are definitely moving to the Cloud, but that most organizations don’t as yet realize its full scope and potential.

Some of the figures contained in the research are worth noting. These include the fact that by 2014:

  • 75% of companies large and small will be using Cloud instances for business operations
  • 25%+ of companies will be using the Cloud to test software
  • 15% will be using private Clouds for daily business needs
  • 40% of all new IT spend will be Cloud-based
  • 45% of all new work will be done in the Cloud
  • 25% of company IT generally will be Cloud-based.

Already, between 13 percent and 32 percent of executives surveyed by Saugatuck last August report at least one instance of Cloud IT being used for what was formerly on-premise infrastructure solutions and systems.saugatuck_cloud use_2010.jpg

Managing The Cloud

Cloud deployment is driven by lower upfront entry commitment combined with potentially lower longer-term cost per instance leading many if not most acquirers and users to think of it as an affordable alternative to traditional IT.

However, the report concludes, traditional IT and business leadership strategies and tactics will be of limited effectiveness in a Cloud-based environment where anyone can do practically anything they want or need to.

How user organizations plan for and manage Cloud IT will have to improve upon established practices and policies. IT, Finance and line-of-business executives must learn and use new, combined management tactics when it comes to Cloud IT, the report adds.

It also anticipates the disappearance of easily-definable boundaries between IT and business, as it does the boundaries between traditional (on-premise) and Cloud-based business and IT.

The bottom line it says, is that user organizations are approaching Cloud Computing without fully appreciating its scope, have a limited longer-term view of its effects on their business and organizations.

The result is that ultimately, far from saving money, Cloud deployment could potentially be costly in time, integration and management overheads.

The research is available to buy from the Saugatuck website, but you can also get a free copy of the executive summary by registering.