It's not a fad. Public cloud providers are increasingly lifting the IT burdens of enterprises, say the results of the Uptime Institute 2016 Data Center Industry Survey released this week (registration required).
Fifty percent of the data center operators and IT professionals quizzed for the report said they expect that most of their IT workloads will be shifted from their facilities to the cloud or colocation sites. Among them, 70 percent expect the transition to happen by 2020 and 23 percent it could take place as next year.
"The shift is occurring, and our findings show an industry in a state of flux. We saw the trends lining up beginning with our 2013 survey, noting that enterprise IT teams were not effectively communicating data center cost and performance metrics to their C-level executives," remarked Matt Stansberry, director of Content and Publications for the Uptime Institute, in a statement.
In 2013, Uptime Institute found that only 42 percent of enterprise data center operators reported cost and performance information to the C-suite, compared to over 70 percent for third-party providers. Stansberry suggests that enterprise IT teams emulate their counterparts at cloud providers.
"The business demand for agility and cost transparency has driven workloads to the public cloud. Our counsel to data center and IT professionals is to become more effective at articulating and showcasing their value to the business," he said.
Financial pressures are driving many enterprises to the cloud. Another 50 percent of respondents said that their budgets reserved for IT infrastructure and data center upkeep have remained flat or have tightened over the past five years. Less than 10 percent are basking in significantly higher IT budgets while the rest are getting by with modest increases.
A slim majority (55 percent) reported that their server footprints have shrunk or remained flat. Colocation providers, meanwhile, have been growing fast in the past five years, observed the Institute. It helps that customers are generally happy with their outsourcers.
Half of all respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their primary colocation provider. Just 7 percent expressed dissatisfaction. But it's not all smooth sailing.
A third of those surveyed for the study said they experienced an outage at a colocation site. A majority (over 60 percent) said that penalty clauses in their SLAs (service level agreements) wouldn't cover the impact of an outage to their business. Forty percent said they were finding themselves paying more for colocation contracts than they initially expected.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.