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2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Exposes Hottest Trends in Cloud Adoption
[June 20, 2012]

2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Exposes Hottest Trends in Cloud Adoption

SAN FRANCISCO --(Business Wire)--

North Bridge Venture Partners today announced the results of its second annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey. Supported by 39 industry collaborators spanning established leaders, emerging, fast-growth companies, and startups - the 2012 survey captures current industry perceptions, sentiments and emerging trends in cloud computing. This year's collaborators include companies such as Amazon Web Services (News - Alert), Rackspace, Eucalyptus, and Glasshouse. A total of 785 respondents spanning industry experts, users and vendors participated in the survey. Respondents were asked about a wide range of key issues impacting cloud computing, including drivers for cloud computing, inhibitors, best practices, sourcing, total cost of ownership (TCO), cloud's impact on multiple business sectors, and emerging cloud technologies. The survey provides many insights into the adoption of cloud computing, including the cloud configurations and applications that are forming around specific business needs including Big Data, business continuity, collaboration and storage.

The survey results were released today at the cloud leadership dinner in advance of the 2012 GigaOM Structure Conference. North Bridge and GigaOM - both actively researching cloud analytics and technology investment, are pleased to announce that they will closely partner on the Future of Cloud initiative and plan to unveil a new program prior to GigaOM Structure 2013. This year's survey reveals several important changes in respondents' perceptions and plans regarding cloud implementation.

Key Findings in the Survey include:

  • Companies are accelerating their trust in cloud solutions, with 50 percent of respondents confident that cloud solutions are viable for mission critical business applications.
  • Scalability remains the top reason for adopting the cloud, with 57 percent of companies identifying it as the most important driver for cloud adoption. Business agility ranked second among drivers for cloud adoption, with 54 percent of respondents focused on agility.
  • Security remains the primary inhibitor to adoption in the burgeoning cloud marketplace with 55 percent of respondents identifying it as a concern, followed by regulatory compliance (38%) and vendor lock-in (32%).
  • Software as a service (SaaS (News - Alert)) is currently, and is expected to remain the primary type of cloud investment, with 82 percent of respondents citing it as in use today, and 88 percent expecting to use it five years from now.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will see significant growth in the next five years, with PaaS growing from 40 percent to 72 percent and IaaS growing from 51 percent to 66 percent.
  • The top 3 areas i which "cloud formations" are coming together are backup and archiving (43 percent), business continuity (25 percent), collaboration tools (22 percent), and big data processing (19 percent).
  • Cloud users are shifting sentiments with regard to public vs. hybrid cloud platforms.
    • Currently, 40 percent of respondents' are deploying public cloud strategies, with 36 percent emphasizing a hybrid approach.
    • Within five years, hybrid clouds will be the emphasis of 52 percent of respondents' cloud strategies.
  • With an increase in trust of the cloud, big data is emerging as a major focus for vendors and end-users alike.
    • 80 percent of respondents identify big data as the most likely sector to be disrupted by cloud computing
    • Vendors identify analytics and big data as the first and second most important cloud service to provide, respectively.
  • The majority of respondents (53 percent) believe that cloud computing maintains a lower TCO and creates a less complex IT workflow.

The findings of the second annual Future of Cloud Computing survey are supported by analysis and reports from the 451 Group and other collaborators alongside North Bridge's own investments. All of these projects an increase in both SaaS and on-premise, hybrid cloud models. The findings also display a new level of growth and user confidence across cloud platforms. "GigaOM Pro surveys of IT decision makers confirm the tight connection between big data analytics and could computing," said David Card, VP of research for GigaOM Pro. "And we're also seeing scale, agility and cost-savings as market drivers, balanced against security concerns and a dearth of skilled data scientists."

Supporting Quotes:

"Our second annual survey has revealed that companies are growing increasingly confident in the cloud. While agility and scalability continue to be primary drivers for cloud adoption, IT decision makers are beginning to trust the cloud with more mission-critical applications like eCommerce. Furthermore, the identification of 'cloud formations' around the hottest business trends including big data and analytics by both vendors and IT decision makers alike highlights new opportunities for Cloud. Thanks to the efforts of our partners, collaborators and survey participants from industry leaders, to emerging players and startups, we have gained a deeper understanding of how this transformational technology will evolve and impact business." - Michael Skok, partner, North Bridge Venture Partners

"For the second straight year, the Future of Cloud Computing survey has confirmed some of 451 Group's recent research. It appears that there is growing familiarity and trust of public cloud accompanied by a desire to move beyond one's own internal infrastructure, cloud or not. This is an understandable trend as the public cloud has existed for some time, presented enough options and has had time to progress from test or POC deployments to production implementations, which is reinforced by other responses. The move away from internally-hosted to public and hybrid clouds reflects the need and desire to integrate with other technologies, vendors and ecosystems. This year's survey proves organizations want flexibility along with scalability." - Jay Lyman, Senior Analyst, 451 Group.

2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Collaborators:

451 Research



Active Endpoints

Active State

Akamai (News - Alert)

Akiban Technologies

Amazon Web Services





CA (News - Alert)






Engine Yard





Microsoft (News - Alert)




Red Hat


Sand Hill










Supporting Links:

Survey Results

Survey Results Blog and Slideshow


About North Bridge:

North Bridge Venture Partners is an active, bi-coastal, early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Mateo, California. Established in 1994, North Bridge provides seed-to-growth financing and company-building expertise. Together with North Bridge Growth Equity, our mid-market focused growth capital fund, North Bridge manages over $3 billion. For North Bridge Venture Partners, success is derived through a partnership with entrepreneurs that produce industry-leading companies in large emerging markets. Historically, the firm's partners have played a significant role in organizing, starting and building successful companies. Working in concert with entrepreneurs, North Bridge adds value by providing strategic guidance, sharing operating experience, industry specific knowledge, team-building skills and an in-depth understanding of both private and public financings. North Bridge's sector focus includes Software, Communications & Infrastructure, Healthcare Technology, Digital Media, and Materials. For more information about North Bridge, go to

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