by Shubhra Rishi

CIOs Look at Public Cloud with Caution and Curiosity: CIO Research

Aug 12, 20144 mins
BudgetingBusinessCloud Computing

Public cloud gains traction among Indian CIOs and scepticism associated with security also seems to be vanishing.

Every technology crosses a certain threshold before it is fully embraced. The same is true in the case of public cloud adoption.

The CIO Mid-year Review 2014 indicated that there’s been a slight relief in what was seen as an apprehension towards embracing the public cloud completely.

From strictly and only focussing on creating the private cloud, earlier Indian CIOs weren’t ready to expose their business critical applications to a third party. But in the last one year, a lot has changed and Indian CIOs are finally appreciating the benefits of a hybrid cloud model with a readiness to deploy some of their workloads on the public cloud.

Our research has revealed some interesting stats about the shift to public cloud. While the deployments of hybrid clouds have seen a surge, there’s a 13 percent drop in the number of Indian CIOs who considered public cloud as an overhyped tech.

Email, collaboration, and externally-facing web apps are the top three workloads Indian CIOs are deploying or planning to deploy on the public cloud.

Secondly, about 61 percent of Indian CIOs from the Mid-year Survey believe that public cloud deployments improves business agility. 59 percent of CIOs feel that movement to the public cloud will reduce their TCO. About 57 percent agree that movement to public cloud also reduces infrastructure costs.

And it’s true. When you switch to a public cloud, building and running a datacenter is no longer a problem. It gives new ways to save money and gives rise to innovation, flexibility, and scalability in an organization.

One of the main reasons that oversees all other benefits is a huge shift in the number of CIOs who consider public cloud deployments as a security risk. Last year, one of the top concerns of 44 percent of Indian CIOs was the security defects in public cloud. That number has come down to 25 percent in the CIO Mid-year Review 2014 survey.

In the IT/ITeS sector, about 25 percent of Indian CIOs have already completed their public cloud deployments while 45 percent of Indian CIOs expect to complete it this fiscal.

In the healthcare and pharma sector, there is 18 percent dip in the number of Indian CIOs who considered security to be a big risk when it comes to deploying public cloud in their organizations.

A similar sentiment is expressed by the CIOs in the manufacturing sector which saw a 9 percent dip in them considering security as a top concern. Unlike healthcare and auto, Indian CIOs in the BFSI and IT/ITeS sector still consider security as a big risk on their road to public cloud deployment

While security may no longer be the biggest risk (but still a risk) as seen by CIOs in their journey to deploy public clouds, but some of the other reasons (to not look at the public cloud as a viable option) have remained traditional. About 58 percent of Indian CIOs still view vendor lock-in as the biggest roadblock to public cloud deployments.

Secondly, 46 percent of Indian CIOs find it difficult to integrate cloud data with their internal systems while 33 percent of CIOs struggle in measuring the application and performance of their systems.

These limitations have forced Indian CIOs to consider backward migration from public clouds. About 15 percent of CIOs have either completely moved back or are considering moving back some of the applications or workloads off the public cloud.

Therefore, the CIOs have chosen to walk down the hybrid path, which gives the best of public and private cloud. About 48 percent of Indian CIOs are currently using, or planning to implement hybrid clouds in their organizations this year. This is compared to 35 percent last year.

Therefore, while Indian CIOs are experimenting and deploying less-critical workloads on the public cloud, they are also taking measured steps when it comes to deploying it in a full-fledged manner within their organizations.