The impact of the cloud

Cloud SolutionsResearch carried out by both the IDC and CIF, looked at the impact of the Cloud on businesses from the ground level up, with some very interesting results. For starters, the number of companies now using cloud technologies has increased by 22% from 2011, making the total number of companies utilising it to be around 62%. But even more interesting, of those companies who have adopted cloud technologies, only 14% are using it to it’s maximum potential, whilst 42% are still experimental users.

Why is that companies who are already dipping a toe into cloud technology, cannot fully embrace it?

Unsurprisingly the threat of data loss and security is still the number one issue, despite numerous articles and events over recent years, specifically targeting this concern. This is closely followed by companies not being able to realise their ROI, or are concerned about how slow internet access might have an impact on cloud performance. Other areas that companies struggle with, are the difficulties that they might face in integrating cloud into legacy IT systems, internal resources and staff expertise, and the fuzzy lines surrounding compliance.

With this in mind, what can cloud providers do to drive user adoption?

With as many as 58% of IT professionals, saying that the complexity of their existing processes and systems can be a big hindrance to cloud adoption, cloud providers would do well to recognize these concerns at the outset and spend more time addressing them.

How can we convince those companies still experimenting or investigating cloud?

Undoubtedly, each company will have its own unique reason for considering the cloud, but if we take a look at some of the main reasons why, it seems that cost saving is still the biggest motivator. Whilst 16% say ‘flexibility of use’ is more important and around 12% are considering it for ‘scalability as their business grows’.

For experimental users, it would probably help convince them more, if they could realise the potential that the cloud can offer their business from the outset, such as the impact it will have on; customer care and client satisfaction, managing the sales and after-sales processes, marketing and new market entry, production and supply chain management, finance, HR and business strategy development, to name a few.

Plus, with an astonishingly 79% of users agreeing that the cloud has met or exceeded their expectations, compared to 21% who said that it did not. If cloud providers addressed these concerns, all they really should be concentrating on, is not on why you need cloud services, but when do you need them by?