Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Access through multiple devices is the primary driver for cloud computing

According to a survey from IT services company CSC, the primary driver for companies adopting cloud computing is the desire to connect employees through a multitude of computing devices. A third of respondents said this was the most important reason for moving to the cloud.

The survey results are detailed in the CSC Cloud Usage Index. It’s based on responses from 3,645 IT decision makers in eight countries — Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US. Respondents all had experience implementing cloud computing within their organisations.

The other main reasons for cloud adoption are to accelerate the speed of business, chosen by 21% of respondents, and cutting costs (17%). While sustainability doesn’t emerge as a significant driver, 64% of organisations say that adopting cloud computing has helped them reduce waste and lower energy consumption.

There’s lots of other information in the study, including the fact that only 14% of companies downsized their IT departments after adopting cloud while 20% hired more cloud experts! Nevertheless, 82% of all organisations saved money on their last cloud adoption project, although savings tend to be small.

There is analysis by company in the survey, which for the UK revealed that:

  • 82% of UK organisations see benefits from the cloud in under 6 months - 38% see benefits immediately.

  • Almost half (49%) cite increased data centre efficiency and utilisation as the number one benefit from adopting cloud.

  • More than half (54%) of small businesses cite information access from multiple devices as a leading factor in moving to the cloud. But 63% of them say their total cost of delivering enterprise services stayed the same after implementing cloud services.


I guess the main surprise here is that cost doesn’t come out more strongly as a reason for moving to the cloud. It’s more about ensuring everyone is connected and can get on with their work wherever they are. The fact that it doesn’t reduce the number of IT staff, and sometimes involves hiring more cloud experts, reinforces the point.

Data centre efficiency does come out as a benefit, though, which should have a positive impact on energy use and emissions, and the green advantages in general are acknowledged. But the ability to reduce internal IT infrastructure and hence save money doesn’t come through as an incentive from the survey responses, which suggest that the move to cloud computing has less of a green pay-back than we would have hoped.

© The Green IT Review

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