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New voke Research Finds Significant Productivity and ROI Benefits of Virtual and Cloud-Based Labs

voke, inc., a modern analyst firm focused on data and analysis for the economy of innovation, today announced the publication of its third survey-based report on the virtual and cloud-based labs market, Market Snapshot TM Report: Virtual and Cloud-based Labs.

In its never-ending quest to be more competitive, the line of business is demanding everything faster, and software is now the competitive differentiator of any business. As server virtualization has become a favorite technology of the IT datacenter, because of its ability to effectively use underutilized resources, virtualization also needs to be applied to the pre-production portion of the application lifecycle, which is defined as lifecycle virtualization. Lifecycle virtualization allows over utilized resources to be virtualized and shared across the entire software supply chain, and includes the technology of virtual and cloud-based labs. Virtual and cloud-based labs deliver on-demand development and test labs to enable a frictionless environment for development, quality assurance, and operations.

voke has witnessed the evolution of this market since the firm’s first survey on virtual lab automation in 2007, and second survey on virtual lab management in 2010. In 2014, the current vendor landscape in this market includes the following solutions:

  • CA Cloud Manager
  • Cognizant TEMs
  • CSC ServiceMesh
  • CloudShare
  • Dell Virtual Platforms
  • HP Lab Management Automation
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Lab Management
  • Ravello Instant Dev/Test Environment
  • RightScale
  • Skytap Environments-as-a-Service (EaaS)

The new independent survey of over 500 IT professionals, from both technology and non-technology companies of varying sizes globally, explores the need, use, benefits, and ROI of virtual and cloud-based lab technology. It identifies and provides analysis on how virtual and cloud-based labs are used, why the technology is adopted, as well as its general perceptions, challenges, and benefits.

In spite of availability of this technology since 2005, organizations are still experiencing significant delays by leveraging physical lab environments. The survey found that 68% of organizations experience delays in QA work, and 63% report delays in development work while waiting for physical pre-production lab environments. Of those that do not leverage the power of virtual or cloud-based labs, on average teams wait 18 days for access to physical environments needed for development and testing. Additionally, most organizations limit use of physical lab environments to a maximum of 14 days in spite of growing demands to deliver and test multiple versions concurrently on a wide array of platforms.

The report contains a historical look at why this essential technology has yet to gain widespread adoption. In the wake of the global financial crisis, instead of a flourishing market with successful IPOs, most of the original vendors in the space were acquired and this market stalled while other related technologies gained traction. From the enterprise perspective, there has been confusion with other virtualization technologies, such as server virtualization, service virtualization, and the cloud in general that have delayed bringing the benefits of virtualization to development and test labs.

In 2014, these delays caused by waiting for development and test lab environments are completely unnecessary and counterproductive. Lab accessibility issues are easily and economically solved through the use of virtual and cloud-based lab solutions.

Full ROI details achieved by participants provided in the report include:

  • Reduced production defects and total defects
  • Increased platforms and versions tested
  • Increased test coverage and number of tests
  • Time saved from reduction in defect reproduction time
  • Reduced testing cycles
  • Less headcount required to manage labs
  • Hardware CAPEX reduction

“As organizations strive to be global, connected, and software-driven, virtual and cloud-based lab solutions are an absolute necessity for organizations of all sizes and types, to help them keep pace with the needs of the business and be a next generation enterprise,” said Theresa Lanowitz, founder and analyst at voke. “Virtual and cloud-based lab solutions are proven, and their use removes common barriers associated with accelerating the software lifecycle. Enterprises should allow innovation and creativity to flourish in the software lifecycle by adopting virtual or cloud-based lab solutions, to free their teams from manual, error-prone, and time-consuming tasks.”

The report also provides key assessment question for organizations to leverage, to determine a company’s readiness for virtual and cloud-based labs.

The new report is available to research clients at www.vokeinc.com. Media interested in a complimentary copy of the report should contact [email protected].

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