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Looking Ahead: Enterprise Cloud Trends for 2019

In 2018, nearly 40% of enterprise IT decision-makers identified public cloud as their top priority, according to the 2018 RightScale State of the Cloud survey. Yet, the perception persists that public cloud adoption among enterprises is still not happening as quickly as many experts have anticipated, particularly for mission-critical applications.

However, research is showing that 2019 could very well shape up to be a turning point for enterprises in accelerating the migration of mission-critical workloads to public cloud. There are three critical reasons driving this potential shift:

  1. Business leaders are demanding public cloud, looking to ensure that their organizations are ahead of the curve on digital transformation and not behind the eight ball.
  2. IT decision-makers are prioritizing public cloud as they look to leverage cloud elasticity, modernize in-house computer systems, and empower DevOps and other key business units.
  3. Cloud providers are focusing critical attention on enterprise IT, removing stumbling blocks that may have given IT decision-makers pause to fully embrace public cloud in the past. This trend is particularly relevant to companies that boast a long tradition of serving the needs of enterprises, specifically IBM and VMware.

Let’s look at each of these important developments one by one.

Business leaders are demanding public cloud
Digital transformation is a top investment priority for enterprises, with more than 80% undergoing initiatives to rationalize and modernize their infrastructure, according to IDC. Not only is public cloud an enabler for digital transformation, IDC says it is increasingly seen as “the preferred platform for existing and new enterprise IT applications.”

Public cloud enables organizations to accelerate digital transformation with faster access to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, the Internet of Things, blockchain and cloud-native application development platforms.

With the right public cloud platform, organizations can be more cost-efficient, strategic and agile, without sacrificing enterprise requirements for availability, reliability, security, disaster recovery or regulatory compliance. In fact, with the right set of solutions, each of those areas can be enhanced.

IT decision-makers are prioritizing public cloud
TechTarget Research tracks IT buying trends very closely, monitoring the critical factors that active buyers are evaluating in the pre-purchase process. Throughout 2018, the priorities of buyers have reflected a heavy emphasis on cloud features and benefits. Top priorities are:

  • Leverage cloud elasticity: Cited by 45% of pre-purchase decision-makers, focused on scaling up and down for cost and competitiveness
  • Replace in-house computing systems: 23%
  • Enable DevOps deployment: 20%
  • Enable rapid deployment of infrastructure resources: 18%

While these have been the top priorities for 2018, it is important to note that each is actually trending upward for 2019, according to preliminary research results. So, while public cloud has been a top priority for IT in 2018, it will become an even higher priority in 2019.

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Cloud providers are focusing critical attention on enterprise IT
Enterprise IT decision-makers are making public cloud an even higher priority in 2019 because they are more confident in cloud as a platform than ever before. This is largely because they can now rely on providers that have a rich history in serving the unique needs of enterprise businesses in terms of reliability, availability, performance and security.

For example, enterprises with VMware solutions in their data centers can non-disruptively migrate mission-critical applications to the IBM Cloud, using the same infrastructures, tools, processes and skills their organizations and teams have in place. This lets them take advantage of rapid provisioning, elastic scalability and pay-as-you-go pricing.

In addition, they can leverage new functionality designed to meet enterprise business requirements. A new feature, called Mission Critical VMware on IBM Cloud, supports mission-critical workloads at a targeted aggregate availability of 99.99%, which is a higher availability and failover success rate than many organizations can achieve with their on-premises environments.

Another new solution with IBM Cloud for VMware solutions, called IBM Cloud Kubernetes Services, enables enterprises to bypass the public Internet and have virtual machines and containerized workloads running side by side for the first time. This accelerates development cycles and lets developers connect virtualized apps to next-generation cloud-native apps.

Conclusion
For many enterprises, the journey to the cloud has been focused primarily on new cloud-native applications. They haven’t been ready to put their most mission-critical applications into public cloud. The thinking has been to wait and move these apps to the cloud in the future, when the cloud is enterprise-ready. Guess what? The cloud is enterprise-ready, if you choose the right platform. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting, time is up. The future is here.

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