(The Hosting News) – Mimecast® today announced the results of its Cloud Computing Adoption Survey, which examined the perception and adoption of cloud computing solutions among 565 respondents responsible for managing their organization’s IT operations and budget across the U.S. and Canada in the Fall of 2009.
Data from the recently completed online survey highlights the complex, often contrasting, thought process of IT decision makers regarding cloud computing. While security and integration issues are clearly users’ biggest fears about cloud computing, these concerns have not dissuaded companies from implementing cloud-based applications within their corporate infrastructure. The well-known fears with cloud computing appear to be at odds with reality, as the survey findings suggest strong satisfaction with cloud computing once it is installed. 70 percent of IT decision makers already using cloud computing are planning to move additional solutions to the cloud—most within the next 12 months—indicating that those respondents have come to quickly recognize the inherent ease of implementation, robust security features and cost-savings of cloud computing.
Those That Have Used Cloud-Based Services are Coming Back for More
• 70 percent of companies already using cloud computing solutions are planning on moving additional applications to the cloud—and a majority of them are looking to do so in the next 12 months. This shows that respondents that have used cloud-based solutions have seen their business and operational value and want to expand that success to other application areas.
Companies’ Cloud Fears are Waning…
• 62 percent of all respondents have considered or are considering cloud computing.
• When asked what would change their minds about cloud computing, respondents ranked more mature solutions and better integration with existing systems as their top two needs (33 percent for maturity, 32 percent for integration).
… but Security Concerns and Existing Investments Remain Biggest Roadblocks to Further Adoption
• Companies remain hesitant because of perceived security issues. The findings show that security concerns were the leading reason given by respondents in all categories for not moving forward with cloud-based applications. 46 percent of respondents that had considered cloud-based applications chose security as the main reason for not moving forward. This was also true across a majority of industries, including financial services (76 percent), energy (75 percent), government (67 percent), retail (61 percent) and technology (40 percent).
• The investments made in current IT infrastructure and worries about integration also prevented companies from taking the next step toward cloud computing. 32 percent of respondents that had considered cloud-based applications named existing infrastructure investments as the reason for not moving to the cloud; while 26 percent said that legacy/integration worries had stopped them from going any further. Between the time and effort spent building their current infrastructure and fears around integrating existing systems into the cloud, respondents and their companies have been afraid to abandon what they know for what they don’t.
• Cost also continued to be a concern for those considering cloud computing, especially among government (67 percent), healthcare (52 percent) and legal (40 percent) respondents. This may have more to do with this year’s decreased IT budgets than the expense of cloud services.
• However, of those that have already implemented the cloud, 81 percent of legal, 77 percent of retail, 75 percent of government, 74 percent of technology, 72 percent of healthcare and 68 percent of financial services respondents were planning on moving additional applications to it in the future—showing that these fears can be overcome.
Certain Industries are Moving Faster than Others
• The top three industries adopting cloud computing solutions are technology (with 53 percent), financial services (40 percent) and legal (37 percent). This statistic shows that respondents within heavily-regulated markets such as legal and financial services do not share the belief that cloud-based services make it harder to prove compliance with industry regulations.
• Government has the smallest adoption, with only 19 percent using cloud-based solutions.
Email and CRM Applications Add the Most Value
• Among the respondents already using cloud computing solutions, email (23 percent) and CRM (18 percent) proved to be the most valuable.
• 33 percent of this group have moved email management to the cloud, 26 percent deployed cloud-based CRM systems, 26 percent moved email archiving and 22 percent have moved storage functions.
Cost is Still the Primary Motivation for Moving to the Cloud, but Agility is Gaining
• Cost savings (54 percent) are still the primary motivation behind the adoption of cloud-based services. However, there is evidence that the other business benefits of cloud computing are gaining ground. One of the major benefits of the cloud is its ability to make an enterprise better prepared to react and respond to unexpected changes—or to easily add-on new services as needed. The findings show that 49 percent of respondents support this idea, indicating agility/scalability as a main reason for moving services to the cloud. In addition, respondents also rated efficiency (39 percent) and streamlined administration (36 percent) as key reasons. As the adoption of cloud-based services grows, so does the understanding of its value.
“This research shows that once enterprises experience cloud-based applications, their fears about integration, reliability and costs are immediately alleviated,” said Mimecast Chief Executive Officer, Peter Bauer. “The survey’s results point to a bright future ahead for cloud computing as more and more companies look to the cloud to create an efficient and agile organization.”