Saugatuck’s Cloud Survey Data Report: Hang On for Total Cloud Impact

What is Happening?

Saugatuck’s recently-published 2013 global Cloud adoption and use research study predicts that, within 2 to 3 years, explosive global growth in Cloud development, adoption, and use will eclipse any growth numbers and rates previously seen or predicted.

The 2013 study, available to Saugatuck subscription research clients, integrates analysis of this year’s data against that from previous Saugatuck research programs. The result: indications of a rapidly-growing, upwelling of Cloud purchase and use poised to surge across the business and IT landscape, far in excess of what we have experienced to this point.

Unfortunately, the majority of user enterprises are only just beginning to understand and put into practice the increasingly loosely-coupled policies, capabilities and approaches required to effectively manage and govern Cloud use in ways that deliver predictable, reliable, and recurring business benefits over time.

Given that most enterprises are built on IT and organizational architectures emphasizing tight coupling of technologies and groups, this suggests massive organizational and IT change will be required just within the next few years.

The new Saugatuck report represents a comprehensive review and analysis of data gathered via Saugatuck‘s 1H2013 global Cloud adoption and use research program. The research includes a web survey of enterprise executives regarding Cloud adoption and use, interviews with buyer/user IT, Finance, and operations executives, and briefings with influential Cloud IT providers. The data are reviewed and analyzed in the aggregate, by size of survey participant company, by geographic region (North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific), and by IT or business management responsibilities. Details regarding the research, including the survey, methodology and demographics can be found in the Appendix to the report.

This report is being published and distributed to clients of Saugatuck’s Continuous Research Services (CRS) subscription research and inquiry program. It is also being used by Saugatuck to brief and inform clients, influential providers, and select other parties.

Why is it Happening?

Saugatuck clients are well aware of how pervasive Cloud already is and will soon be, including the key reasons behind that growth (1262MKT, Cloud Adoption: The Impending Evolution in Pervasiveness, 06Sept2013). The sudden increase in scope of this pervasiveness is what’s going to change how business is done.

Figure 1 summarizes a small slice of the program’s survey data to illustrate both the scope and range of change in enterprise Cloud utilization over the next two to three years.

While interest, utilization, and demand for Cloud-based IT in most forms have been steadily and rapidly growing for several years, the majority of instances seen are still in point solutions, trials, proofs of concept, and limited implementations – especially when it comes to core, back-office business-critical software and systems.

Cloud-oriented markets and enterprise environments are just beginning to emerge from a years-long “gestation period.” The enterprise-class complexities of Cloud are just now being experienced and understood; the opportunities enabled by Cloud-engendered Mobility, Social IT, and Analytics are only just beginning to be developed. The types and scope of skills and supporting technologies required are, in most cases, only beginning to be understood.

Figure 1: Cloud in Enterprise IT, 2013 – 2015: Stacked Higher and Deeper
Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc. 2013 global survey; n = 218

Market Impact

The growth and changes that Saugatuck’s study examines are already underway, although currently in fits and starts. Adoption and utilization growth is most likely to truly skyrocket as enterprises sort through and settle on standardized technologies, organizational structures, utilization methods, and procurement practices – all of which require more and different skills and knowledge than most IT buyers, managers, and users currently possess. The result is something that Saugatuck has labeled “Total Cloud Impact,” the effects of significant and sudden org, operational, and management change throughout business and IT.

And that impact is expected to be disruptive beyond what has been experienced to date. Just in the near term, we expect to see relative Cloud confusion expanding and accelerating among enterprises, as management groups try to corral Cloud use – while understanding how to build the corral. As noted in the study, key business and IT changes to be managed – as quickly as practical – include the following:

  • Unsettled technology and process architectures;
  • Shifting roles and responsibilities of formal IT organizations;
  • Increasing complexities of multiple influencers on IT evaluation, adoption, and use; and
  • A steadily-growing shift toward not only less tightly-coupled IT, but also toward less tightly-coupled business organization and management – which Saugatuck refers to as The Boundary-free Enterprise™.

All of these aspects, with deep dives into Cloud effects and changes related to IT roles, Big Data and analytics, mobility, social IT, and Finance and Marketing operations, will be explored in Saugatuck’s third annual Cloud Business Summit in New York City on Sept 25. Information on the conference is available by clicking here:

For providers of business and IT consulting and management services, the opportunity is almost immeasurable at this time. Given the interrelated, cascading changes catalyzed by total Cloud impact on all aspects of the enterprise, the actual scope of opportunity is likely several times greater than most are predicting today. This will be explored through the rest of 2013 for Saugatuck’s subscription research clients.