CIOs prioritizing virtualization and cloud computing in 2009 says Forrester

(This was originally posted at and I’m cross-posting it here as well.)

Frank Gillett and his team over at Forrester have released “The State Of Emerging Enterprise/SMB Hardware Trends: 2008 To 2009″ reports. You can find them here (Enterprise / SMB). The summary is below with my thoughts added at the bottom:

  • x86 server virtualization adoption. Fifty-four percent of enterprises have implemented x86 server virtualization or are doing so within the next 12 months. Fifty-three percent of SMBs have already implemented x86 server virtualization or are doing so within the next 12 months.
  • Virtualization of OS. Enterprises report virtualizing 31 percent of their operating system (OS) instances today, and SMBs have virtualized about 36 percent of their OS instances. In two years, enterprise respondents expect to virtualize an average of 54 percent of all OS instances, while SMB respondents expect to virtualize 61 percent of all OS instances.
  • Cloud computing. Firms surveyed showed growing interest in pay-per-use-hosting of virtual servers, one of many types of cloud service offerings in the market. Five percent of enterprises have already implemented pay-per-use-hosting of virtual servers, and three percent more enterprises will be implementing within the next 12 months. Two percent of SMBs have already implemented pay-per-use-hosting of virtual servers, and two percent more SMBs plan to do so within the next 12 months.
  • Power and cooling. Eighty-one percent of enterprises indicated some level of interest in increasing the electrical efficiency of the data center, although only 18 percent said they are very interested in doing so.
  • Alternatives to traditional PC technologies. Firms are feeling real pain over the costs of maintaining PCs. Seventy percent of enterprises and 74 percent of SMBs said they hope to lower PC costs with alternative technologies such as various forms of desktop or client virtualization.
  • Information sources and influence in purchasing. Despite the hype about Web 2.0, IT buyers really just want to know what their closest associates think. Hardware decision-makers at enterprises and SMBs reported that their peers and colleagues are the most valued traditional source of information for purchase decisions.

So, my simpler interpretation of the same data shows:

  • 80% – say they’re interested in green power (but aren’t really acting on it). Much like humanity in general. I believe this number.
  • ~74% have real pain with PC or client maintenance and management and hope to mitigate that with desktop and client side virtualization. This makes a lot of sense.
  • 53-54% are about to or have already implemented server virtualization. This fits with what we’re hearing as we speak with people in the industry.
  • 30-60% have already virtualized or are about to virtualize the operating systems.
  • Only 18% of them are “very, very interested” in green power – that still doesn’t say that they have implemented any green measures.
  • 2-5% of SMBs and Enterprises have implemented cloud computing and will increase that to  4-8% respectively within 12 months. This is still really early in the cloud computing cycle. What I think may be missed here though is the fact that many rogue departments are purchasing cloud computing and expensing it without ever involving the IT department. This is exactly how PCs crept into businesses and how Saas Applications also entered through the basement. My bet is that the numbers here are higher if we talk to people outside of IT.

Startups we’ve selected to present at Under the Radar are aiming squarely at the major pains and opportunities in this survey. Check out the newest companies on the horizon who are addressing: end-point virtualization, management tools, virtualization optimization, and of course, all aspects of cloud computing here.

If you are an IT professional working on any of these issues for your organization, you will want to come and attend the upcoming Under the Radar: Clarity in the Cloud on April 24, 2009. You can register here. Early bird pricing ends next week.