Cloud in 2011: Appirio Survey Finds IT Ready for the ‘Disruptive Cloud’

A survey taken at Gartner’s IT Symposium in Orlando last month found IT ready to “be bold” with cloud. Almost one-third of respondents have at least five applications in the cloud, and a growing number are planning to make cloud even more disruptive. IDN speaks Narinder Singh, Chief Strategy Officer at cloudsourcing firm Appirio, which did the survey.

Tags: cloud security, cloudsourcing, Appirio, CloudSpokes, Gartner,

disruptive_cloudCloud solutions provider and cloudsourcing firm Appirio surveyed IT execs at Gartner’s IT Symposium in Orlando last month.


Appirio found that more companies were embracing the cloud for IT and business needs, and there was even a willingness among some to take a “no holds barred” approach to disruptive cloud projects. IDN speaks with Appirio’s Chief Strategy Officer Narinder Singh.


“We heard some pretty aggressive and fantastic stuff from some top Gartner analysts about how IT should use the cloud,” Singh told IDN. Appirio shared just how bullish Gartner analysts are about using the cloud in 2011-2012 in a blog post written during the Gartner event. 

“Cloud is becoming a critical factor, especially [to stay] agile and in touch with customers.”

Narinder Singh
Chief Strategy Officer, Appirio

When we hear Gartner analysts, a traditionally conservative bunch, tell people to “blow things up,” “embrace customer intimacy over business architecture,” and “make cloud your first approach to computing,” it makes us want to stand up and applaud (some people [at the event] actually did). It also makes us stop and think – what’s changed?


This is a group that two years ago advised us not to get "too far ahead of our skis" when talking about helping companies cloudsource 100% of their business.  Now [Gartner analysts] are advising companies of all sizes to take a cloud-first approach.


“Cloud is becoming a critical factor, especially for companies who want to build a post-modern organization that is agile and in touch with customers,” Singh told IDN. How critical? Singh put it simply: “Cloud is the key enabler for the biggest trends we’re seeing in IT today – mobile, social media and big data. Companies of all sizes are trying to come up with approaches to all three, and the outcomes may decide the next winners and losers.”


Inside Appirio’s Enterprise Cloud Survey:
IT Execs Brace for Heavy Adoption, ‘Dramatic Change”
With this as a backdrop, Appirio’s survey went looking for cloud adoption trends and plans among Gartner attendees.


Not surprisingly, the unscientific survey found that most Gartner attendees already use the cloud, but interestingly it also found that almost one-third (30%) are aggressive cloud user s– with more than five application platforms in the cloud. Only 13% said they have no applications in the cloud.


Appirio also found that a staggering 85% said cloud computing will “dramatically change” the way IT works over the next five to 10 years.


To prepare for this cloud-driven change, Gartner analyst Daryl Plummer, a proponent of “cloud brokers” told attendees they should look at cloud to help businesses align with a new competitive reality. Appirio’s blog quoted Plummer as saying, “Every one percent in customer satisfaction could add one year of life to your business – focusing on customer outcomes is your company’s fountain of youth.”


Appirio’s survey asked Gartner attendees their opinions about the “value of cloud brokers,” and found: 

  • 45% said the value of cloud brokers increased because they can connect multiple cloud platforms – for more value and ease of use
  •  22% said cloud brokers’ most valuable attribute is their assistance in finding the right cloud services to use
  •  Respondents rate three types of companies that would be good at serving as a “cloud broker”: systems integrator (37%); third-party technology provider (33%); and cloud service provider (30%) 
  • “Our feeling is that cloud brokerages will be enablers for innovative and valuable cloud projects – one that can actually bring disruption to businesses that make them more competitive, responsive and less wasteful,” Singh said.


As to what Gartner attendees think, here are some comments from a video Appirio released at the event.  


  • “Consumer paradigms are now starting to come on, like the stuff from Apple,” one respondent said. “And, they are starting to say, ‘Maybe that’s what cloud is,’ and they’re understanding [cloud] at a level where they might be able to consume it at a corporate level – very much like Apple has done it in other places.”
  • Another respondent predicted: “[Cloud] is more going to change the way business works, and allow the business to drive a lot more innovation because IT is going to have to come faster at getting those innovations out.”


Appirio helps enterprises adopt, connect and extend cloud platforms for effective enterprise use. Their projects include work on leading cloud-based offerings from, Google, Workday and others. Appirio is also the creator of the CloudSpokes community for crowdsourcing of cloud projects, which now sports more than 25,000 cloud developer members worldwide.