Category Archives: Survey

Fresh redundancies illustrate IBM’s continuing cloud challenge

IBMWithin the last twelve months, the company has inducted more than 70,000 IBMers and spent more on acquisitions than in any other 12-month period in its history. Focusing on data analytics, security, machine learning and mobile, the business is attracting a new breed of employee to its ranks. All would seem well until you consult social media.

The Facebook group, Watching IBM, has increased its following by more than 66% over the last week. The group has taken responsibility for bringing light to the 70,000 job losses experienced by the firm in the past few months. Comments such as “At the beginning of 2015 our department had 25 people in it. At the beginning of 2016 our department has 13 in it,” highlight the decline.

For all the positive news of expansion, new product offerings, and 70,000 new employees, the headcount over the course of the twelve month period has shrunk around 1% to 377,757 from 379,592.

With company revenues declining for fifteen consecutive quarters, this should not come as a great surprise for most; IBM’s struggles to re-invent itself as a cloud business have been well documented over recent years.

Back in January, Clive Longbottom, Service Director at Quocirca commented that IBM could risk being left behind, should the transition take too long. With AWS, Microsoft and Google continuing to surge forward, that risk is continuing to grow, though the consultancy skills nurtured in IBM will remain in demand “I still believe that IBM will remain a major force in the IT world, it just has to make sure it positions and messages itself effectively to its existing customers and to its prospects”

Last week IBM released a report which highlighted that two- thirds of organizations implementing hybrid cloud are gaining competitive advantage from their hybrid environments are nearly three times as likely to use it to assemble data assets or monetize data.

Surveying more than 500 hybrid cloud implementers, in 26 countries worldwide, the report highlighted that 85 percent of respondent commented that a hybrid approach to cloud is accelerating the digital transformation in their organization. During 2015 Q4, total cloud revenues (public, private and hybrid) for the vendor increased 43% to $10.2 billion, though revenues throughout the business were down 9% to $22.1 billion in the same period for 2014.

Despite some negative press, and a surge in social media activity being directed towards the tech giant, it seems the workforce transition is far from complete. “We’ve been shifting resources aggressively,” CFO Martin Schroeter commented last week “and we’d like to shift them more aggressively.”

Efficiency gains most compelling reason for cloud, say enterprises

SurveyThe majority of US enterprises will increase their spending on cloud computing by up to 50% this year, according to US based researcher Clutch.

Conversely, the research also indicates that 6% of enterprises will cut their spending on cloud. The survey of 300 IT professionals at medium to large enterprises could indicate the different uses for cloud computing, with some companies using it to manage costs while others use it as a strategic weapon.

The study found that nearly 30% of the sample will maintain their current levels of cloud spending, with 6% saying they will reduce their cloud computing budget. A significant minority, 47%, identified efficiency improvements as the main benefit of cloud computing. There were no figures on whether performance improvements may encourage companies to spend less money on cloud services in future however.

The statistics on the uses for cloud computing do not suggest this is a tactical, strategic investment, however. The most popular motive cited for enterprise cloud usage, in the US, would appear to be better file storage, which was nominated as the primary objective for buying cloud services by 70% of the survey. The next most popular application of the cloud, backup and disaster recovery, which was nominated by 62% of the IT professionals, is another cost item. However, the cloud was chosen for application deployment among 51% of the sample, but there was no breakdown of whether this was viewed as a cost saving measure or a tactical investment. Similarly, the figures for the numbers of buyers who used the cloud for testing, 46%, was not broken down into tactical and cost saving motives.

Storage costs are the easy win and prove the value of the cloud: tactical use may be a later development, said Duane Tharp, VP of technical sales and services at service provider Cloud-Elements. “The returns on file storage are pretty straight-forward. Every company needs file storage,” said Tharp. “The ease of adopting the cloud for file storage could prove the concept and pave the way for the adoption of other use cases later.”

Survey reveals support for OpenStack but fears over hidden costs

openstack logoAlmost all IT professionals want to adopt OpenStack but fear the hidden costs, according to a new study by SUSE Linux.

Positive sentiment could evaporate in the face of challenges such as difficult installation, skills shortages and the fear of vendor lock-ins, the report has warned.

The study was commissioned by enterprise Linux, cloud and storage infrastructure provider SUSE. Researcher Dynamic Markets interviewed 813 senior IT professionals in the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and the Nordics, along with 110 from the UK. According to SUSE, 80% of the UK group said they are planning to adopt or have already moved to OpenStack private cloud. But there is serious concern about the aforementioned private cloud installation challenges and possible vendor lock-in.

Though 88% of companies said they have a private cloud at work an even higher percentage (96%) said they would use a cloud solution for business-critical workloads. Almost as many, 94%, said they see infrastructure-as-a-service as the future for the data centre.

However, many respondents confessed that the practicalities of OpenStack might get in the way and gave a series of responses that indicate there may be a high degree of difficulty involved.

Almost half of UK enterprises that have tried to implement an OpenStack cloud have failed, according to SUSE. Another 57% said they found the implementation experience difficult. Meanwhile, another 30% could be about to endure an off-putting experience, according to SUSE, since this number plan to download and install OpenStack software themselves, which (says SUSE) could exacerbate their difficulties.

Despite the open ethos of OpenStack, an alarming 91% of UK respondents are wary about falling victim to vendor lock-in when they choose a private cloud infrastructure.

Keeping control of the infrastructure will be made even harder by the impossibility of finding staff, said the report, as 89% say a lack of available talent in the market is making them reluctant to embark on a private cloud project.

The Cloud may be the future but there are clear concerns about how it should be integrated and managed, according to Mark Smith, SUSE’s senior product marketing manager. With cost the primary motivator for adopting the cloud, many IT professionals worry that there will be a price to pay later, according to SUSE.

Investor confidence is highest in cloud computing say venture capitalists

Money cloudCloud computing has been hailed as the strongest technology investment sector for the third time in a row in a survey that gauges confidence among capital, private and growth equity speculators.

The cloud sector came out strongest in the 2015 Global Venture Capital Confidence Survey compiled by Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). The study quizzes 200 speculators on the general venture capital environment as well as other market factors such as conditions in industries and across regions.

While biopharmaceuticals and robotics reported the highest levels of confidence growth, and the Internet of Things (IoT) was recognised for the first time by the study, cloud computing was the top tech trend for the third year in a row. When the survey group was asked to gauge their levels of confidence in a technology, cloud was the most convincing quantity in which investors would put their faith, with a confidence rating of 4.18 out of 5. Mobile came in second place with a rating of 4.05, while new category the IoT came third with a score of 3.95. Software was a close fourth with a rating of 3.82 on the confidence range.

Investors are most confident in companies based in Silicon Valley and San Francisco with $15.2bn being invested in these regions. Next in the investment league came New York with $4.5bn and Boston, which received $3.2bn from speculators. Confidence in investing in UK-based companies varies, with four of the eight countries questioned saying they have increased confidence in the UK’s tech startup economy and four saying their confidence has fallen.

Interest in investing in Israel was rated highly (a 3.9 out of 5) while Canada (3.60) continued to rise from previous years’ survey results. Confidence in emerging markets has declined among global investors, with rating Brazil at 2.70, down 43 basis points from 2014.

In the cloud computing industry there is much for venture investors to feel excited about, according to Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of NVCA. “The fundraising environment continues to improve, the IPO market is gaining strength and there is no shortage of innovative, game-changing start up companies to take to the next level,” said Franklin.