CIOs Asserting More Control Over the Cloud

Has your company seen a move to the IT department taking control of the cloud? It’s only recently that business departments are ceding the decision making to where it most logically belongs: under the CIO.

“In the early days of the cloud computing it was routine for tech executives to admit that they had little idea of, or control over, the use of the technology within their organizations; developers would cheerfully pay for cloud storage or processing power using their credit cards, forcing CIOs to turn detective to work out what was being used, when, and by who,” writes Steve Ranger at

Over 80 percent of cloud spend is now managed by the IT department, and 62 percent of that has the direct involvement of the CIO, according to research by Verizon, he said, adding, “The use of cloud computing is also increasingly widespread: Verizon’s research claims that 65 percent of enterprises are now using some form of cloud and its survey of its own cloud customers found that 71 percent are running external-facing production applications in the cloud, up from 60 percent last year.”

The report, available for download from Verizon has this catchy sub-head, “Cloud is now mainstream but it is more disruptive than ever.”

There’s been a fairly quick mainstream embracing of the cloud, according to Verizon. It says, “It’s clear, both from research we’ve commissioned and our own discussions with customers, that enterprises are taking cloud much more seriously than even a year ago. According to 451 Research, 72% of enterprises expect to put more than half of their workloads in the cloud — including software as a service (SaaS) — by 2017.”

Verizon finds, “According to 451 Research, enterprise spend on cloud has grown 38% in the past year. And we’re seeing strong growth in the share of the IT budget allocated to it. This is backed up by IDC who recently reported that organizations ‘adopting cloud services expect to spend 54% of their IT budget on cloud in the next two years.’”

Among findings of the report are demand for virtual machines vs. demand for storage and energy. Verizon says, “Last year we reported storage growing at 2.5 times that of VMs deployed, and memory at 2.9 times that rate. In the twelve months from June 2013 to July 2014, the rate of growth in allocated storage increased to 6.0 times that in the number of VMs deployed, and the capacity of memory to a staggering 12.0 times that rate.”

Verizon also dips its toes in the issue public vs. private clouds. It found, “When considering what type of cloud might be appropriate for a particular workload, the distinction is often made between public and private — public being seen as cheap but less secure, private more expensive and less scalable. Recently we’ve seen increased usage of the term ‘virtual private cloud,’ indicating the blurring of these definitions.

“Public and private are convenient shorthand, but they’re inadequate to describe the massive variety of cloud services available today. Choosing the right location for each workload requires thinking about many factors, but it comes down to three basic questions:

  • Would the risk profile of the workload allow it to be run on shared infrastructure?
  • What proportion of the workload and its associated data are on your premises versus the provider’s?
  • How much of the management of the cloud environment are you prepared to take on?”

Here are a couple more interesting tidbits about the cloud, courtesy of Verizon. “When asked what factors they rate most important in a cloud service, 84% rated uptime very important,” the company found, adding, “Through 2015, at least 50% of cloud deployments will suffer from network performance issues” That could ultimately be the most frustrating tidbit of all.

Keith Griffin
Keith Griffin is an award-winning business writer and editor with more than 30 years experience as a journalist. His work has been published in The Boston Globe, Medical Economist, Good Housekeeping,, the Hartford Courant, CT Law Tribune and numerous other regional publications.