Enterprises in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore will outsource nearly 70 percent of their information technology infrastructure by 2018, almost a complete reversal of the present practice, where about 65 percent of enterprises operate using internal and owned facilities, according to a new study by CenturyLink-owned Savvis.
That would be a major shift in virtually any industry, and will happen in just five short years, the study suggests. At the end of that period, enterprises in the studied countries will have shifted largely to use of outsourced cloud facilities as the dominant model, where today most operate internal facilities.
In fact, the study found that just five percent of enterprise respondents surveyed today depend on the outsourced cloud for the bulk of their IT resources. The shift to an outsourced, cloud-based model will represent the majority of organizations within about three years, the study suggests.
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Most organizations will use hybrid approaches to colocation and managed-service models, the study also suggests.
"The next five years will bring a dramatic shift in the way organizations approach IT," said Jeff Von Deylen, president of Savvis. "Clearly, cloud is part of the picture but it's not the whole picture. As businesses grow and move more IT infrastructure to outsourcing providers, they will adopt a strategic mix of colocation, managed-hosting and cloud services."
Savvis commissioned research firm Vanson Bourne to conduct the survey of 550 IT decision makers in the finance, media and entertainment, retail, healthcare, software and automotive industries.
Respondents generally report they have been outsourcing applications that are not mission critical. Up next are data center facilities, storage and content management applications, the study said.
Though in-house IT infrastructure models are most common today, colocation becomes the environment of choice in two years, managed services take the lead in five years and cloud eclipses all forms shortly thereafter, the study suggests.
As you would expect, while the top benefit of IT outsourcing remains "cost reduction or containment," said to be important by 42 percent of respondents, "improved quality of service" and "infrastructure scalability and flexibility" also rank high on the list of advantages, with each indicated "important" by more than 35 percent of survey respondents.
Nearly 90 percent of respondents say they use some type of cloud service today, with more than half doing so for storage and email applications. Slightly less than half of IT leaders employ cloud for intranet, website and microsite applications.
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