Study: Most businesses calculate ROI before implementing cloud services

March 8, 2012

More companies than ever are considering the cloud as a solution for data storage and backup, application hosting and a wealth of other IT responsibilities, but enterprises must consider several factors before purchasing technology for internal use or committing to a service level agreement.

According to a recent InformationWeek study of more than 370 business technology professionals, most companies evaluate return on investment (ROI) when debating the advantages and shortcomings of specific public, private and hybrid clouds. Furthermore, businesses are comparing each prospective cloud implementation's ROI to its cost savings over traditional IT services.

"Companies that cannot compare costs for public cloud services versus internal IT will be in rough shape once they build private clouds and adopt a hybrid setup," said Lorna Garey, content director of InformationWeek Reports. "And just avoiding cloud won't be an answer, if enterprises don't want a stark IT cost delta between them and startups."

The study revealed that 90 percent of IT professionals currently using or evaluating cloud services are likely to estimate ROI, and 82 percent of organizations have already implemented or soon plan to devise a formal policy regarding cloud evaluations for new IT services. Furthermore, 54 percent of businesses are likely to evaluate ROI for a cloud investment for a three to five-year time period, while 31 percent will calculate ROI for the entire lifespan of the project.

According to most experts and recent studies, enterprise cloud adoption will continue to skyrocket in the coming years, largely due to businesses' desire to gain the cloud's cost-cutting, efficiency-boosting advantages. However, some IT professionals say cloud security will be an integral part to the future growth of cloud computing, as some executives and IT decision-makers are still skeptical the cloud provides enough security to store critical data.

-McAfee Cloud Security