EMA has just collected some new data regarding how IT organizations are seeking to assimilate cloud services from a top-down, service management perspective. The data gathered in December of 2010, spanned 155 global respondents with high percentages of executives (better than 50% director and above) – as the goal was to understand how senior management and cross-domain organizations that usually have senior executive leadership are leveraging cloud computing.

While the full report will be available in mid-February at www.enterprisemanagement.com/research/, and a Webinar will be held on February 22nd focusing on the broader implications of the research, read on for some early highlights.

The data on technology adoptions were very powerful.  For example EMA tracked twelve bellwether technologies linked to more mature forms of service management and found significant values in supporting more effective cloud adoption.  For instance, in terms of achieved benefits from cloud:

  • IT organizations with CMDB deployments are:
    • 1.4 times more likely to reduce complexity of management via cloud
    • 1.4 times more likely to improve service resilience via cloud
    • 1.6 times more likely to accelerate deployment of existing services via cloud
    • 1.6 times more likely to accelerate the creation of new services via cloud
    • 1.5 times more likely to increase infrastructure flexibility via cloud
    • 1.7 times more likely to expand revenue channels via cloud

And, to take another bellwether technology:

  • IT organizations with User Experience Management (UEM) are:
    • 1.5 times more likely to reduce complexity of management via cloud
    • 1.4 times more likely to reduce operational costs via cloud
    • 1.4 times more likely to accelerate deployment of existing services via cloud
    • 1.5 times more likely to increase infrastructure flexibility via cloud
    • 1.8 times more likely to expand revenue channels via cloud

Similar patterns arose when EMA compared IT organizations with “cross-domain service management organizations” and those without.  Checkout BSMDigest for those insights at www.bsmdigest.com/cloud-computing-and-the-rise-of-cross-domain-service-management.

The truth will always remain that cloud itself will always be a messy concept with internal and external options across SaaSIaaS, and PaaS services – that may or may not perfectly meet NIST or other industry definitions.

Nevertheless, the real values in assimilating cloud capabilities can be dramatic—with very high satisfaction rates across a long list of achieved benefits including those centered in cost efficiencies, superior infrastructure and service resiliency, and accelerated capabilities to provision new and existing services.

Cloud has also become a surprisingly consistent force in driving changes within IT –in particular promoting more engagement with business clients and more cross-domain management directions so central to, among other things, ITIL best practices.  The clear “we/them” relationship in effective cloud adoption between those organizations with cross-domain services versus those without is telling here.  And the differences are at least as striking when it comes to those IT organizations with key bellwether service management technologies and those without.

EMA anticipates that within two to five years, cloud adoptions will continue to grow in importance as options, rather than endgames, in support of strong service management organizations.  Similarly, cloud service providers are likely to segregate between those content to “mass market” commodity services for smaller businesses and startups at lower costs, and those willing to partner strategically with mid-tier and larger businesses to provide the shared visibility, control, security and responsiveness that is needed for effective optimization across hybrid (cloud/non-cloud) environments.

Update 2/17/2011:  These are just a few observations from the Operationalizing Cloud research.  To put it succinctly this blog is a light summary of seventy-eight slides that are themselves summaries of thousands of pages of analysis.  I’ll be hitting the highlights (30 not 78 slides) in a Webinar on Tuesday, February 22 – i.e., next week.