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Red Hat 2015 Customer Priorities Survey

Customers reporting interest in cloud, containers, Linux, and OpenStack for 2015

As 2014 comes to a close and IT departments reflect on their initiatives heading into the new year, we asked a group of 115 Red Hat customers – ranging from FORTUNE 500 companies to small businesses –  about their priorities for 2015. What we heard from the respondents is promising going into the new year: budgets are increasing (or at least staying the same); Linux adoption is increasing; cloud deployments will be dominantly private or hybrid; OpenStack is hot; and interest in containers is emerging.

Budgets – always a popular topic at the new year – look strong going into 2015. 84% of survey respondents were optimistic about their 2015 budgets, with 40% of respondents planning for a budget increase, and 44% expecting their budgets to stay the same. According to the survey results, respondents are planning for several key IT initiatives in 2015, including:

  • mobility (and mobile apps) (69%)
  • big data (68%)
  • customer engagement (53%)
  • private cloud computing (46%)
  • DevOps (45%)

Survey respondents are also bullish about the increasing Linux adoption in 2015: 59% plan to use Linux for brand new applications or services, or greenfield deployments; and 41% are planning migrations to Linux (26% are planning Windows-to-Linux migrations; 15% are planning UNIX-to-Linux migrations).

Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of Products and Technologies, previously noted that an organization’s cloud strategy “could be the most critical decision they make in this decade.” And while cloud has firmly become an enterprise reality, 32 percent of survey respondents report that their organizations are still determining their cloud strategy heading into 2015. Of those organizations that are already moving to the cloud, respondents identified their organization’s cloud deployment strategy as:

  • private cloud (27%)
  • hybrid cloud (26%)
  • public cloud (15%)

When asked about the top benefits of cloud computing, respondents cited cost savings (59%), followed by scalability (55%); accessibility (including mobility and business continuity) (53%); speed of deployment (50%); and the ability to replace on-premise legacy technology (48%). The survey revealed some potential challenges for cloud in 2015, including security (57%); cloud interoperability (31%); compliance (30%); ability to measure ROI (29%); cloud portability (27%); and governance / loss of IT control (27%).

When it came to OpenStack – the popular open source cloud computing software platform - the majority of respondents reported plans to continue use of or invest in OpenStack in 2015. Top benefits cited for OpenStack were greater automation (18%), improved agility to meet customer and business demands (17%), and lower costs (15%).

And, while Linux containers are creating much industry excitement over their potential to radically change the way applications are built, shipped, deployed and instantiated, survey data shows that enterprise adoption is still emerging. According to respondents, 13% are using containers in development and test environments, and 20% are evaluating containers for future use. The top perceived benefits of containers as seen by the respondents included the ability to deploy applications faster (54%); reduce effort to deploy applications (40%); streamline development and testing (38%); lower costs associated with application deployment (31%); and help consolidate servers (25%).

We’ve created the infographic below to highlight many of these customer priorities for 2015. Overall, the survey responses tell us that there is a lot to be excited about in tech in the coming year. In our next post, we’ll highlight specific predictions from Red Hat executives and subject matter experts. Stay tuned for their thoughts on what we’ll see in 2015!