Cisco estimates huge shift to the cloud by 2013

Nearly 12 percent of enterprise workloads will run in the public cloud by the end of 2013, according to Cisco. Their study found that desktop applications, email, collaboration, and enterprise resources planning are most likely to shift to the cloud. This, in turn, will yield a market for public, cloud-computing services of approximately US$44 billion.

Service providers have an opportunity to differentiate themselves and add new revenue-generating services by providing public cloud-computing services.

Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently conducted in-depth, one-on-one interviews with more than 80 enterprise IT decision makers from 43 enterprises and public-sector organizations in the United States, the European Union, and India. Additionally, Cisco IBSG interviewed 20 subject-matter experts.

Enterprises across many sectors—including manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare, and professional services systems integrators, IT service outsourcers, technical consulting, and public sector organizations—are seriously considering cloud computing.

Cloud-migration decisions are being made at the application level. Most decision makers envision a staged migration to cloud-computing services, beginning with noncritical applications. Enterprise executives believe that no applications should be automatically excluded from migration to cloud.

For enterprises, the decision about moving to a private or public cloud is not binary. It hinges on executives’ perceptions around security and control, data-center overcapacity and scale, and access to skilled IT personnel. Enterprises will potentially use private and public cloud-computing to manage their IT resources.

The study identified a set of target applications for cloud that spans various verticals. Targets for IaaS include application development and testing, disaster recovery, simulations, data warehousing, and analysis. Targets for SaaS are CRM, email, unified communications, web applications and desktop environments.

An organizational convergence is taking place across the IT and networking departments within enterprises. A total of 80 percent of the enterprises surveyed have converged, or are in the process of converging, these departments into one organizational structure.

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