A report from Forrester into the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) industry has found that there has been a low adoption rate for IaaS, and that the majority of spending on IaaS services was not being bought via formal IT procurement. Instead, adoption was coming from informal purchases by departments or individuals – largely for heavy compute or session applications. Of this latter group, 16 per cent said they were purchasing IaaS services, compared to just six per cent of central IT departments.This has certainly been reflected in our own IaaS service, enCORE. We currently have seven companies from the aeronautics, automotive and engineering industries testing our high-performance data processing service. In most cases, we have dealt directly with the users of the service and not IT. This is not due to our customers not wishing to involve the IT department, or intentionally breaking a company policy, but more likely because as small-medium businesses (the highest proportion of our users) they tend not to have a dedicated or formal IT department. Interestingly, by contrast, the one large customer we do have testing our service does involve its IT department.
Generally, irrespective of which contact we deal with, we do see demand for compliance in the area of security (particularly for design data and anything that involves the client’s IP). OCF’s procedures and policies need to meet customer requirements, and these have proved to be sufficient. We would, however, expect to see greater emphasis on security as adoption of IaaS widens.
In terms of the general low adoption of IaaS, I feel that this is symptomatic of the situation with cloud computing in general. Much has been spoken and written about the Cloud, and we appear to be in the stage of “who is going to take the plunge first?”. From our perspective, users who have engaged are already seeing very significant business benefits, allowing them to run cases in significantly reduced timeframes and at low unit costs, within a framework of high flexibility. It can only be a matter of time before these benefits drive mass adoption of IaaS in the market.