A survey of information technology (IT) decision makers around the globe found that the shift to cloud computing is driven primarily by a desire to connect employees through the multitude of computing devices in use today. Turning conventional wisdom on its head, 33 percent of survey respondents cited accessibility to information through multiple devices as the most important reason for their decision to adopt cloud computing.
Rounding out the top motivating factors of cloud adoption within the enterprise were accelerating the speed of business, which was the choice of 21 percent of respondents, and cutting costs, with 17 percent citing it as most important. In the United States, the trend among small businesses was even more pronounced, as nearly half, or 46 percent, of small businesses cited information access through a multitude of devices as the most important reason for adopting the cloud, while 10 percent of small businesses cited cutting costs.
These key findings were among the most prominent from a global survey of 3,645 IT decision makers on cloud computing usage trends conducted by TNS, an independent research company, and funded by CSC. All survey respondents had experience implementing cloud computing within their organizations. Representing an even distribution of small, medium, and large private and public sector organizations, the survey respondents were from eight countries - Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Other key survey findings include:
Few organizations downsized IT after cloud adoption.
- Only 14 percent of companies downsized their IT departments after adopting cloud, while 20 percent of organizations hired more cloud experts.
The majority of organizations save money with cloud, but savings are small.
- 82 percent of all organizations saved money on their last cloud adoption project.
- 23 percent of US organizations and 45 percent of US small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) reported no savings, while 35 percent of US organizations saved less than $20,000.
- Brazilian organizations reaped the most cost benefit with 92 percent saving money, while 70 percent of Australian organizations saved money.
Organizations are into the cloud for the long term.
- 65 percent of companies choose cloud subscriptions lasting one year or more.
Cloud computing gives organizations a green boost.
- 64 percent of organizations say that adopting cloud has helped them reduce waste and lower energy consumption.
Nearly all businesses boost improvements in IT performance after cloud adoption.
- 93 percent of all organizations saw at least one area of improvement in their IT department since adopting cloud.
- 52 percent reported increased data center efficiency and utilization, while 47 percent of companies said they witnessed lower operating costs after cloud adoption.
- 80 percent experienced improvements within six months of moving to the cloud.
Small businesses face less workforce resistance to cloud adoption.
- 74 percent of small businesses say that no one in their company resisted the move to the cloud.
Data security concerns do not change significantly after adopting cloud computing.
- 25 percent of organizations expressed more concern about data security after adopting cloud services.
- 47 percent of organizations in Singapore expressed more concern about data security following cloud adoption, while 47 percent of Brazilian organizations said they are less concerned after switching to cloud.
Employee preparation in advance of cloud implementation varies widely.
- United States and Australia lag in preparing employees for cloud adoption with 80 percent and 81 percent of organizations providing any information or training, while 97 percent of Brazilian organizations prepared their employees.
Half of US government IT workers say they've moved work to the cloud.
- 48 percent of US government agencies moved at least one workflow to the cloud following the new requirement that US federal agencies adopt a "cloud-first" policy.
For the purpose of the survey, cloud computing was defined as a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet and promotes convenient, easy access and rapid provision with minimal management or service provider interaction. Its five essential characteristics are: (1) on-demand self-service, (2) broad network access, (3) resource pooling, (4) rapid elasticity, and (5) measured service.