Stern Curator| Whatech

The prospects for cloud service providers look pretty rosy with almost 50 percent of executive level respondents to an IDG survey saying they believe that cloud will be transformational to their business strategies.

Forty percent had their IT staff investigating the potential of cloud and only five percent saw no use for cloud services.

It was clear from the survey that respondents believed cloud could have a significant positive impact on their businesses. Fifty six percent said it accelerated business value by providing access to critical business data and applications. Similar numbers cited cloud as a catalyst for IT innovation and for greater employee collaboration.

IDG’s survey, via email, of readers across a swathe of its US magazine websites – CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld, and Network World – elicited almost 1400 responses, 58 percent of them from executive IT roles and 17 percent from mid-level IT roles. Enterprises responding to the survey said they spent 44 percent of their IT budgets on cloud computing and expected this to increase to 51 percent by 2015.

IDG’s goal was “To measure cloud computing trends among technology decision-makers including usage and plans across various cloud service and deployment models, investments, business drivers and their impact on business strategy and plans.”

Fifty nine percent of respondents said they were still identifying those parts of their IT operations that were candidates for being moved to the cloud. Thirty three percent said they had completed this process and were comfortable with their level of cloud usage “given the state of current cloud offerings.”

Sixty nine percent of respondents said they were using private cloud, 59 percent public cloud and 28 percent community cloud. Significantly all indications were of significant rises in the use of all these services over the next 18 months. On average, respondents said they had 28 percent of their IT operations in private cloud and expected this to rise to 36 percent within 18 months. For public and community cloud the figures, respectively, were 14 percent rising to 20 percent and eight percent rising to 11 percent.

“There has been a considerable uptake of hybrid cloud services across growing businesses and mid-size market,” said Bennett Oprysa, CEO at BitCloud. “As Executives realise the power of cloud, more and more IT projects are seen in a different light and cloud is part of the formula. Companies see hybrid cloud as the best of both worlds across security and the effective use of IT resources both existing and new,” Oprysa said.

The most popular applications for transferring to cloud services were collaboration and conferencing, e-mail and messaging and CRM/sales force automation. A significant number of organisations said they were planning to move these to the cloud over the next 12 months. Thirty eight percent said they currently use cloud for collaboration and conferencing and a further 20 percent plan to do so in the next 12 months. For email and messaging the figures were 35 and 22 percent and for CRM/SFA, 26 and 23 percent.

Respondents seemed reasonably confident about the security of their information in the cloud. Seventy three percent said they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ confident and only 18 percent said they were ‘not very’ or ‘not at  all’ confident. However IDG did not break this down between confidence in private cloud versus confidence in public cloud and, as the survey results were published on 27 June, it is likely that the survey took place before the Prism story broke on 6 June.


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