IDC research has deemed Cisco Powered cloud services to be “enterprise class” in terms of offering value points for customers such as availability, reliability, sustainability, and scalability.
A recent IDC whitepaper entitled Cisco Powered Cloud: A view from the front lines of delivering customer value, offers perspective on the value of Cisco Powered cloud services to end-customer businesses from 20 Cisco cloud partners.
These partners comprise a cadre of companies that play multiple roles in the delivery of cloud services to their customers, including EMC, NetApp, and VMware, Extrinsica Global, plus regional and global telecommunications providers; value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators (SIs).
"We have set out right from the very beginning with all the services we provide… to deliver genuine enterprise-class quality, and in many customers' minds, Cisco is associated with that," says Simon Smith, CEO and founder, Extrinsica Global. "Cisco has a reasonable claim to say that their technology underpins the best cloud providers."
Choice of partner now critical
IDC notes that the choice in providers has become increasingly important as cloud plays a key role in the link between technology and business results, and the subsequent decision making power of line-of-business and c-level executives.
“Business leaders, as well as IT departments, need to appropriately assess cloud and its providers from a number of perspectives, including SLAs, pricing models, and security practices,” the report reads.
Currently 68 per cent of companies with more than 1000 employees are using some form of cloud or plan to implement cloud over the next year, and expect to spend 54% of their IT budgets on cloud in two years. This high adoption rate is expected to increase dramatically within the next three years; IDC forecasts cloud spending to surpass $75 billion by 2017.
IDC also found medium-sized organizations (100–1000 employees) have a higher cloud adoption rate (70 per cent) than larger counterparts. Though adoption was lower among younger organisations (operating less than five years), these tended to have more evolved strategies.
The perceived value of Cisco Powered cloud services was highest among customers that were preparing to transfer mission-critical workloads into the cloud, or to a new cloud service.
IDC notes that such customers won’t generally transfer sensitive data to a new cloud service unless they're confident their service won't go down, and that the transition from on-premise to cloud is as seamless a process as possible.
A preconfigured and standardised Cisco architecture allows for a level of flexibility and ease of integration between network, compute, and storage resources, according to IDC.
"Customers can rest assured that the technology they use in their own data centre is the technology that is available in their cloud. They just have to focus on the change in delivery method rather than the technology change," says Clint Harder, CTO and SVP of Product Strategy, OneNeck IT Solutions.