Enterprise Insights

Blog archive

Enterprise Cloud Use, Plans Revealed in New Survey

The CDW 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll released this week asked 1200 IT professionals about their use of cloud computing, what’s driving its adoption (and what factors are impeding progress), the benefits expected and realized from the technology, and their cloud plans for the future.

At first glance, use of cloud is impressive: 84 percent of IT managers report that their enterprise uses at least one cloud application, yet only 38 percent acknowledge that “their organization has a written strategic plan for cloud adoption.”

The most popular cloud applications are utilitarian: Gmail (34 percent), Google Docs and MicrosoftLiveMeeting (29 percent each), and WebEx (28 percent). Gmail is most popular among small and midsize businesses and higher education institutions; Google Docs is most popular with K-12 and higher education.

These figures show the public side of cloud. However, when asked what cloud approaches their “organization is most likely to use,” 47 percent said it was a private cloud, with 19 percent choosing community cloud and 19 percent choosing a hybrid cloud. Only 7 percent chose the public cloud.

Adoption is largest among “large businesses” (at 37 percent) and higher education (at 34 percent). Although 29 percent of respondents in the federal government say they use cloud apps, only 23 percent of those in state and local governments do. Nearly a third (31 percent) report that their organizations are currently considering cloud technology, and 33 percent are in the planning stage; 8 percent say they are not considering using the technology.

Security is the top inhibitor to cloud adoption or expansion. Among non-cloud users, 45 percent are concerned about safety; the figure is 32 percent for cloud users. Of all users, cost concerns (40 percent) came in second. To protect themselves, organizations using cloud encrypt transmitted data (54 percent), manage access to cloud applications in house (50 percent), or require passwords be changed every quarter (44 percent).

When all respondents were asked about their top goals, they put “consolidate IT infrastructure” at the top of their list (42 percent), followed by “reduce IT energy/power consumption” (42 percent), “enable or improve ‘anywhere access’” (38 percent), and “reduce IT capital requirements” (37 percent). Cloud seems to help enterprises meet these goals -- and then some. Of the 320 respondents using cloud, 48 percent said cloud had helped them consolidate their IT infrastructure, 49 percent had reduced power, 49 percent achieved “anywhere access,” and 52 percent had reduced capital requirements.

Speaking of expenses, only 36 percent said cloud applications cost less than traditional applications. However, 84 percent of cloud users said annual costs were reduced by moving applications to the cloud; annual savings averaged 21 percent. In five years, cloud users expect that, with the growth of cloud use, they’ll save an average of 31 percent of their annual IT budget.

One-third (34 percent) of the 320 respondents who implement or maintain cloud computing predict that the IT budgets five years from now will allocate a third of their budget on cloud “resources and applications.” Of the remaining 880 respondents who (those not implementing or maintaining cloud projects), cloud spending is predicted to be just 28 percent in 2016.

The survey received 1200 responses from IT professionals in “small, medium and large businesses; Federal, state and local government agencies; health-care organizations; and K-12 and higher-education institutions” in the United States. You can download the full report here; registration is required.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 05/26/2011 at 11:53 AM