Cloud computing is the #1 technology priority of 2011 for over 2,000 CIOs** surveyed by Gartner—with virtualization taking the number two spot. While 66% of the average IT department’s budget has traditionally been allocated to day-to-day operations, according to Gartner CIOs expect the cloud to free up 35-50% of current resources to be used towards “innovation and growth.” This is good news for CIOs, whose measure of success is increasingly dependent not only on ensuring IT is efficient and cost-effective, but on “creating and realizing new sources of [business] value.” The top 3 business objectives named by CIOs reflect these new success metrics, and mirror what we’re seeing here at CenturyLink Cloud:
1. Developing or managing a flexible infrastructure
Flexible infrastructure is one of the key differentiators of cloud computing as compared to on-site IT hardware. In the cloud, storage and performance scale—and with the right cloud provider, they scale predictively or based on business rules. Additionally new servers can be provisioned in minutes, instead of the days required by traditional IT processes.
2. Delivering application and growth projects
Many CenturyLink Cloud customers are taking advantage of new business models and reaching new customers by moving their apps into the cloud. Chad Collins, a VP at HighJump Software, says his company can now “simply install our [application] on top of the CenturyLink Platform, configure it for a specific customer, and sell the package as a total solution to our customers via subscription.” Meanwhile IT pros can spend less time managing low-level tasks and more on developing and enhancing core business services.
3. Reducing the cost of IT
Our customers have reported freeing up 80-120 hours of operations and system admin time each month by offloading routine maintenance work to the cloud. When combined with a reduction in infrastructure costs thanks to utility pricing where companies pay only for the resources they actually use, the cloud can significantly decrease IT costs. As of this January, only 3% of companies ran most of their IT services in the cloud. With more C-level executives realizing the business benefits of cloud computing, however, an unprecedented 43% of CIOs have stated an interest in transitioning a majority of their infrastructure to the cloud over the next 4 years.