In a breakfast roundtable discussion of CIOs organized by Umbrella Infocare and Amazon Web Services, an overwhelming 75% of participants were seen to have adopted some form of cloud deployment. The roundtable discussion held in early September—comprising AWS customers and prospects— showed significant interest (amongst 50% participants) in deploying web/mobile/social media applications in the cloud, clearly indicating a preference for cloud deployment for new-age applications and deployments.
Interestingly a majority are actually using cloud-based infrastructure services or platform services in the cloud, reflecting market maturity against the preceding market phase when cloud market was synonymous with SaaS.
However, Saas continues to be a popular tool in experimenting with cloud-based services. About 45% of participants deployed some cloud-based business application and cloud-based back-up and archiving services are also popular at 45%.
There was a lot of interest about AWS services although awareness and understanding about AWS services were low. Storage and content-delivery is a popular interest area amongst 40% of participants, reflecting good understanding about the cost-economics of combining storage with content distribution.
An important discussion point was the careful selection of application while moving workloads to the cloud. It is better to select a new application or that which has less dependency than to move a full-blown ERP application to the cloud which has many applications tied to it. While CIOs did understand the complexities of moving workloads to the cloud, it is equally important to have CXOs in the organization on the same page to draw up a smart cloud migration strategy.
Participants had a number of queries about cost and security in cloud deployments. An interesting outcome of the discussion was that AWS cloud enables to achieve lower cost in many ways as customers have bundled solution for security services. AWS customers deal with a single entity when deploying applications unlike in the physical environment where customers deal with different vendors for firewall, VPN solution, etc for security solutions, adding to cost and management challenges.
The AWS cloud is more secure than on-premise deployment as all deployments in AWS cloud denies access by default, unless the customer opens up access to the application. In fact access control can be very granular, managed via IAM or by opening up a specific port in a VPN setting. Often AWS customers are inclined to store sensitive information in the cloud as opposed to on-premise storage.