But in the last year, the realities of the technology have begun to set in, Gartner says. High-profile service outages from some of the biggest names in the cloud industry, including Amazon Web Services and Salesforce.com, have soured some users' appetites for storing mission-critical information in the cloud. Gartner says there are unpredictable usage costs, which turn others off to the technology. The firm recommends exploring public cloud storage options for non-mission critical applications, such as file sharing, archiving and backup. "Gartner does not expect full-scale adoption to occur until cost, legal, security and infrastructure integration issues are sufficiently addressed to reduce the risk of entry by large enterprises," the report states.
Past the Peak
After a technology has been introduced, the market has become disillusioned by it, and then good technologies begin to rebound in popularity, or what Gartner calls a "slope of enlightenment," Gartner says. These are technologies that are market-proven and are entering beyond the hype phase and into the mainstream.
SaaS: Gartner predicts that for the first time, more than half of organizations are using some form of SaaS, which has moved the technology beyond the peak of hype and toward mainstream adoption. But the SaaS market is broad in and of itself, and Gartner notes that while it is proven in some markets, it "remains nascent in complex applications markets, such as ERP." The process of having an application be owned, delivered and managed by a provider, the report says, can create efficiencies for an organization, especially smaller businesses that do not have an IT shop to support application maintenance or the accompanying infrastructure. But, while SaaS may create a savings in the first two years of a deployment because it removes the need for capital expenses, the operational expenses can remain the same, diminishing the net impact of SaaS after a few years.
Virtualization: Virtualization is the process of abstracting an IT resource for its physical hardware, which can be done in a variety of areas, including in compute servers, storage and network. Virtualized servers, which create virtualized machines, are becoming ubiquitous in the market, Gartner says, with more than half of x86 servers being virtualized, a number that Gartner predicts will grow to three-quarters by 2015. Storage virtualization, meanwhile, is similarly advanced but not as widely adopted. Because of the level of adoption of virtualization technologies, Gartner says the technology is past its hype and being adopted in the mainstream.