David Weldon| Fierceenterprisecommunications

A person can be forgiven if he finds himself confused over recent predictions on cloud computing adoption. The predictions seem to differ not only from one study to another, but even in how the same study is analyzed and then reported by different media sources.

Take the latest reported study by Gartner of 651 organizations, across nine countries, about their use of cloud computing. This study was cited by at least three sources last week that we encountered, with not one linking to the actual report. We were unable to find the report by searching the Gartner site or searching for it on Google.

Depending on the wording in various reports, one can draw somewhat different conclusions, or be confused on different points on what Gartner really had to say. We found reports on the same study in CloudPro, Biztech2 and MicroScope.

“A recent Gartner survey on the future of IT services found that only 38 percent of all organizations surveyed indicated cloud services use today. However, 80 percent of organizations said that they intend to use cloud services in some form within 12 months, including 55 percent of the organizations not doing so today.”

The immediate problem here is one of math. Since 38 percent are invested in the cloud, 62 percent are not. Fifty-five percent of those not currently invested in the cloud (the figure of 62 percent) should equal 33 percent of the total. If correct, that number added to the 38 percent now in the cloud equals a total of 71 percent, not 80 percent.

The predictions get even more cloudy when you consider another claim from the same study, reported in CloudPro:

“Cloud computing is set to have a considerable impact on business in the future which is reflected in the survey finding that around 60 percent of organizations plan increased investment over the next two to five years, while only 6 percent plan to decrease investments in cloud services,” according to Gregor Petri, research director at Gartner.

Again, we have confusing math here. “Around 60 percent” is what percent? And should we subtract 6 percent from the 60 percent to arrive at 54 percent of positive investment? Clearly, cloud computing predictions can quickly become a confusing numbers game.

The cloudy vision clears a bit when you read the summary in MicroScope:

“The analyst house expects the current level of firms using cloud services to increase from 38 percent, with 55 percent of those not using the technology expecting to adopt something in the year ahead.”

Where the three sources concur in their reporting is in the future prospects for cloud computing.

“Gartner expects the growth in cloud usage will come from specific applications rather than broad infrastructure replacements and the expansion of vendor offerings will provide more of a portfolio of hosted products that the channel can take to market,” according to the reporting in MicroScope.


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