Private cloud computing is a “reality” for half of large enterprises with agility being the key driver, according to Gartner, Inc.

In a recent research report, “Private Cloud Matures, Hybrid Cloud Is Next,” the industry analyst firm said cost was an important consideration as well.

Security, often cited by IT professionals as the key driver for private cloud adoption, was not called out in the release on the report by Gartner. This is the case as private cloud, unlike public cloud, is deployed within the corporate data center and is under control of the organization’s IT department.

Because managing IT resources remains under the organization’s control a potential downside is the return on investment (ROI), as responsibility is not passed on to an outside party. However, Gartner inferred that private cloud adoption was actually more cost effective, writing “while cost is always an important consideration, a business case for private cloud cannot rely on lower costs as the primary justification.”

“Virtualization reduces capital expenses, and standards and automation reduce operational expenses,” said Thomas Bittman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, taking the next step of adding usage metrics, self-service offerings and automated provisioning requires investment in technologies without a significant reduction in operational cost. With this in mind, the driving factor for going that next step should primarily be agility.”

In addition, Gartner wrote in the release: “Hybrid cloud computing is at the same place today that private cloud was three years ago; as actual deployments are low, but aspirations are high.”

It forecast that nearly half of large enterprises would have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

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