Ecosystem Cloud: The Results Are In!
July 09, 2013

Dennis Drogseth

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The EMA report Ecosystem Cloud: Managing and Optimizing IT Services Across the Full Cloud Mosaic is complete and in the EMA library, and the corresponding Webinar is still available online.

And as some of you may remember, in mid May I wrote a column Ecosystem Cloud: Predicting the Outcome Before the Data Is In making predictions about the results, which were just then beginning to come in.

Based on my reckoning, I made eleven bets about the results. When I tallied the totals over the Fourth of July weekend, I counted six areas where I was right, two bets where I was dead wrong, and three bets where the answers were too ambiguous to call or I was just partly right.

Overall, then, as you can imagine I was pleased to see the results come in the way they did, although I certainly can’t claim to own any fortuneteller’s laurel wreaths.

Here is the list as I assessed it:

1. RIGHT: "The first bet I’m making is that (cloud services) are all over the board. If any meaningful percentage of our respondents comes in as all internal, all external, or even all cloud—I’ll be frankly surprised."

As much of the report looked at how 17 business services were being deployed, there are an enormous number of data points I could throw at you here.

The first, and arguably least impressive, is that much like 18 months ago (with no more than 1 or 2 percentage point differences), the overall balances remain — 44% a balanced mix of internal/external, 29% primarily internal and 26% primarily external/public.

When we looked at each of our 17 applications individually, the averaged data showed about 35% a balance of both, 30% primarily internal, 20% primarily external/public, and 15% no intention of moving to cloud ever.

But the clincher here was a question about dependencies on traditional (non-cloud or non-virtualized) infrastructures. 45% viewed delivery cloud services as “considerably” or “entirely” dependent on traditional infrastructures. Only 11% said their cloud services were “minimally dependent” and zero said they were “never dependent”.

2. WRONG: "Slightly more than 60% will view cloud as already adopted and an essential part of our business."

The key word here is “essential” and the number was down to 31%, a drop from 48% 18 months ago!

So more view cloud services as merely “important to the business”. On the other hand, there was a slight growth (3 percentage points) in those getting revenue from cloud services.

3. DRAW: "Messaging, CRM and desktop productivity will continue to lead in cloud adoption overall."

I should have checked the breakout in the 17 services before I made this bet because the bet didn’t follow the categories. “Messaging” did show strongly as "cloud-bound", however, so I’m counting this a draw.

4. DRAW: "There will be a growing move to pick up some applications in all internal cloud environments — but very few will be depending yet on all internal cloud for critical business application services — whether for running their businesses (e.g. SAP), or critical, externally facing business applications, even among those businesses where Internet retail is primary and dominant."

If anything, the data indicated a pickup in external cloud versus internal cloud, but the notion of very few apps running on all cloud infrastructures was correct given the strong dependence on traditional infrastructure already described in point one.

5. DRAW: "Internal cloud for application development by contrast will already begin to look ‘mature’ in many environments."

I had no way of actually answering this from the data. I can say that when it came to cloud for development, 35% were primarily internal, 19% primarily public cloud, 30% mixed and 16% had no plans to move to cloud.

6. RIGHT: "I expect nearly 100% of respondents to have some deployment of external cloud (new or not) — but I also expect the number to remain low (under 30%) when asked if cloud adoption is primarily external."

The data confirmed this on both counts.

7. WRONG: "I expect to see modest growth in the degree to which many IT organizations see their businesses depending on some mix of internal and external cloud services."

While the data strongly reinforced a patchwork quilt of options, there was actually a 1% decline in those who claimed a “balance mix” of internal/external cloud from 18 months ago.

8. RIGHT: "I also believe that we will see a growing number of IT organizations looking to more creatively optimize resources for individual application systems across a mix of internal and external cloud."

One thing that surprised me about the data was the degree to which all 17 services indicated a real span of internal/external and non-cloud options on a per-application or per-service basis. As opposed to having some services showing a striking “internal” flavor while others showed a clear “external cloud” or even “non-cloud” priority.

9. RIGHT: "I’m going to make a bet once again, (that) my data will show CIO’s leading in ITIL."

In fact, the data showed that C- and VP-level respondents were more than twice as likely to see ITIL as “critical.” And perhaps even more surprisingly, 70% of the overall respondents felt that cloud was making ITIL “more important”!

10. RIGHT: "If I had to sum it up, recent research shows that while service modeling is gradually rising in importance in assimilating cloud, CMDB adoption specifically in support of cloud remains a low priority. On the other hand, those IT organizations with effective CMDB deployments are also significantly more likely to be successful in managing services across cloud than those without."

This was my biggest win, and probably my most important bet. To quote from the report: "EMA asked questions about service modeling that included: CMDB/CMS, ADDM and dashboards levering service models for performance. When asked across the broader population, 83% of respondents had some involvement in at least one of the above. A unique track of 101 respondents was then self-selected targeted at actual deployments."

The results showed 30% with CMDB, 39% with a federated CMS, 44% with application dependency mapping for change, and 54% with a service modeling dashboard for business impact. But perhaps most dramatically, those with CMDB deployments were nearly twice as likely to be "very successful" in their cloud deployments as the general population, and other service modeling deployments also showed hefty percentage advantages.

11. RIGHT: "Do IT organizations see cloud as a separate universe altogether, or do they view it as advancing many of the requirements for managing services across increasingly dynamic infrastructures and ecosystem interdependencies that already had deeper roots in the past? Once again I’ll place a bet — and this time I’ll just let you guess where I personally stand."

Once again, the weight of the data above shows that cloud is not a “separate universe” but a varied and often complex set of resources best optimized through service management disciplines and technologies evolved to support more dynamic and more ecosystem-friendly requirements.

Related Links:

Dennis Drogseth's original Ecosystem Cloud blog: Ecosystem Cloud: Predicting the Outcome Before the Data Is In

EMA Webinar: Ecosystem Cloud: Managing and Optimizing IT Services Across the Full Cloud Mosaic

Q&A: EMA Talks About ITIL and Cloud

Recent APMdigest articles and blogs about: Cloud

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
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