It's no longer new or odd for enterprises to use the cloud. The cloud is now a reliable workhorse, and it brings a great deal of value to the business.
A recent Verizon report shows what everyone already knows: Use of the cloud is no longer new or specialized; it's become a solid part of our IT arsenal that most enterprises have already established as a core resource.
If the cloud is not so strange anymore, why isn't everyone doing it? The use of public cloud makes up less than 2 or 3 percent of total enterprise workloads, the major analyst firms concur.
Some enterprises are still holding out on the move to the public cloud by citing security, control, and regulatory rationales. But many of them are starting the transition with a private cloud or two. They're not counted in the analyst figures.
A much bigger undercount involves so-called shadow IT, where employees and even entire departments have bought into public cloud computing. They have SaaS or IaaS cloud assets that will eventually find their way back into corporate IT, which will reluctantly accept the use of public cloud resources. This has already occurred at most Global 2000 companies. But until these unofficial deployments work their way back to IT, these public cloud uses aren't counted either in analyst stats.
Those unofficial deployments will help corporate IT see that the sky doesn't fall when users deploy the public cloud. Indeed, agility goes up and costs drop. Moreover, if the right security approaches and technologies are applied, security actually improves.
This isn't the common wisdom these days, but as time passes and there are no major breaches, cloud will get redemption in the minds of many CIOs.
Don't let the analysts' tiny cloud-adoption stats fool you: Most enterprises are entering their sixth or seventh year using public cloud resources, officially or not. One day, the cloud will not only be accepted as a normal technology source but a resource that's as -- or perhaps more -- important to the enterprise as the corporate data center. That day can't come soon enough.