A new study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of XO Communications (News - Alert) and Juniper Networks finds that despite the growing popularity of cloud-based services such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Communication-as-a-Service (CaaS), the value of cloud services still remains elusive for many enterprises.
Majority of businesses have embraced at least one cloud service. As the service evolves, many organizations are now shifting advanced, business-critical applications and services from internal data centers to cloud platforms.
However, many organizations do not realize the potential of these services because their networks are not prepared to support the increased bandwidth demands and complexity of multiple cloud-based services.
More than 75 percent of enterprises are using or plan to use some type of cloud-based service while 50 percent more respondents plan on moving revenue-generating B2B e-commerce sites to cloud environments this year compared to last year.
Software, storage, and disaster-recovery-as-a service represent the top three cloud-based services, and more than 50 percent of IT decision makers said their organization will be using four or more cloud platforms, the report said.
Despite this growth, only 20 percent of IT decision makers said they were very satisfied with this benefit. This indicates many enterprises have not refreshed for the new world of cloud IT.
While 88 percent of IT makers believe cloud-based services will have an impact on the network, surprisingly less than half of them said their organization had upgraded their network in the last three years.
Cloud-based services have been a priority to most organizations over refreshing or upgrading the network. The study reveals that IT decision makers have placed a higher priority on five other IT initiatives including server upgrades, pursuing cloud services, storage refresh, PC refresh, and upgrading security environments over the upgrading their network.
The result concludes that companies need a unified cloud and network strategy to maximize full benefits of cloud computing, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert)), and other cloud-based services. For this, they need an intelligent network designed for performance, security and scalability.
“What is clear in the study is that enterprise networks have reached a tipping point with respect to being able to support more business-critical services that reside in the cloud," said Don MacNeil, chief marketing officer at XO Communications.
"In order to realize the full benefits of cloud-based services, companies will have to examine their networks for readiness, align it with their business and IT strategy, and start to design new network infrastructures to enable a scalable, high-performing, cost-effective and secure cloud services environment," MacNeil added.
Edited by Ryan Sartor