March 7, 2012
The cloud continues to alter how businesses, government organizations and consumers access and manage applications and data, yet most experts believe cloud adoption remains years away from reaching its full potential.
IBM recently published a comprehensive study regarding how enterprises use the cloud, why they adopt certain cloud-based applications and services and to what extent the cloud market will expand during the next few years.
"Through our survey of business and technology leaders, we discovered that organizations - both big and small, across geographies and in virtually every industry - are embracing cloud as a way to reduce the complexity and costs associated with traditional IT approaches," co-authors of the study, Saul Berman, Lynn Kesterson-Townes, Anthony Marshall and Rohini Srivathsa, wrote in the report.
According to the survey, 13 percent of organizations have substantially implemented cloud technology, a figure that is expected to expand to 41 percent by 2015, a 215 percent increase. Additionally, 21 percent of survey respondents said their companies are currently adopting the cloud. Overall, the report said 90 percent of businesses expect to use the cloud in some capacity within the next three years.
Sixty-two percent of respondents said increased collaboration with external partners is an important objective for adopting the cloud, while 56 percent expect the cloud to facilitate new delivery channels and markets. Meanwhile, more than half of surveyed organizations cited new or enhanced revenue streams as a significant cloud objective.
Furthermore, 31 percent of executives surveyed said the the cloud's ability to decrease established IT costs and provide a pay-as-a-go service model is a top adoption advantage.
"Although cloud has practically become mainstream in the IT world, its promise extends well beyond technological innovation. In fact, cloud has the power to open doors to more efficient, responsive and innovative ways of doing business," the authors concluded.
Regardless of companies' plans to increase cloud usage and leverage the technology to enhance business models, most executives and IT decision-makers who are against the cloud cite security concerns as the biggest obstacle. However, many cloud adopters are implementing advanced security software that can protect critical data as it moves between the enterprise and cloud environments, allowing users to focus on business-enhancing tasks and gain the full benefits of cloud computing.
-McAfee Cloud Security