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Cloud Computing Adopters Satisfied with Benefits: Survey  [ Channel Insider ]
October 29, 2010 06:04 PM

DATE: 2010-10-28 | By Nathan Eddy

A survey finds businesses are pleased with the efficiency and productivity gains provided by cloud computing services.

Experienced cloud adopters see public cloud solutions as a significant improvement from their traditional on-premises counterparts, and cite the cloud's positive and strategic impact on their business and IT organization, according to a survey commissioned by cloud solution provider Appirio. More than 60 percent of cloud adopters surveyed said cloud solutions are better than on-premises in terms of availability, total cost of ownership, ease of integration, ease of deployment and time to value.

The survey targeted more than 150 IT decision-makers at mid-to-large sized companies that had already implemented at least one of the leading SaaS applications or cloud platforms. According to survey results, 83 percent said they agreed cloud solutions have helped them respond faster to the needs of their business and 29 percent “strongly agreed” cloud solutions have changed the way they run their business.

Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they think future cloud adoption will be part of an overall business transformation, and 65 percent said it would be part of an IT transformation. In addition, adopters labeled many of the most common fears about cloud solutions as "misconceptions." Twenty-eight percent of survey respondents listed cloud security as the No. 1 misconception about cloud solutions, with integration challenges (15 percent) and lock-in (13 percent) coming in a distant second and third choice.

More than 35 percent of respondents said IT leadership is the primary driver of cloud misconceptions, more than triple the number who called out traditional vendors (10 percent) or media and analysts (6 percent) as the driver. The report also noted security, compliance and manageability remain priorities for improving cloud applications, just as they continue to be priorities for existing, on-premises IT solutions.

Survey results suggested cloud adopters are more aggressive in their near-term and long-term adoption plans than what general market data indicates. Today, 22 percent of cloud adopters said they have more than 50 percent of their IT in the public cloud, and 68 percent said they expect to have the majority of their IT in the public cloud within three years. “While nearly every analyst group predicts tremendous growth for cloud computing in the next three years, they're typically much more conservative about how much of IT moves to the public cloud in that timeframe,” the report said.

More than 73 percent of respondents selected security, compliance and manageability as areas that are an important or very important priority. Overall, more than 65 percent of respondents said enhancing their cloud applications was a high or essential priority in the context of their broader objectives; only 3 percent rated it a low or non-priority. In addition, 70 percent of cloud adopters say IT was a driver in the decision-making process to move to the cloud, and nearly 80 percent said they expect IT will be a driver in the future.

"Companies leading the charge on cloud computing can teach the broader market a lot about what's real, what's hype and what to expect when you move more of your IT to the cloud," said Chris Barbin, CEO of Appirio. "Cloud computing is a highly valuable but disruptive technology, and the enterprises that will be most successful with the transition are those who can learn from the experience of others and look beyond the challenges of today.