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CIOs On Cloud Computing Adoption: Conquer Complexity And Help Us Grow

CIONTT Europe recently completed a study that found 56% of CIOs and Senior IT leaders see complexity of their own Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems as the biggest barrier to their organization’s enterprise-wide adoption of the cloud.  The survey contends that cloud adoption continues to be tactical in nature as a result of the inordinate complexity of existing and legacy ICT platforms.

Completed in April and May of this year in the United Kingdom, the study Growing Pains In The Cloud, 300 CIOs Express Their Views About Barriers To Cloud Adoption (opt in required) was completed by Vanson Bourne and included 300 interviews of CIOs and Senior IT leaders from public and private organizations with 250+ employees.

While the study was completed in the UK, the findings are applicable to enterprises globally looking to use cloud computing to better align business and IT strategies.  59% of CIOs and IT Leaders surveyed say that enabling alignment of business and IT strategies using cloud infrastructure is their number one priority.

Key take-aways from the study include:

  • 53% said that launching new services and applications more quickly is a key request they receive from business units. In the transport and logistics sector four fifths (80%) of CIOs confirmed launching new services and applications is their most important business focus.
  • 60% of IT leaders are concerned that cloud providers don’t  appreciate how complex legacy ICT systems are, and fear migration to the cloud could fail.  A common concern of respondents is how vendors tend to oversimplify their cloud solutions despite the inordinate complexity of ICT legacy platforms and systems.
  • 46% of the IT leaders polled agree that cloud is a great enabler of ‘bring your own device’ and flexible working, through enabling remote access to data and applications.  The challenge is making cloud infrastructure work seamlessly with legacy platforms and applications.
  • 68% have had cloud-based systems in place for two years or less.  The following graphic shows the distribution of cloud adoption by industry included in the study.
  • 77% of CIOs and Senior IT leaders report cloud-based infrastructure is in use today in their enterprises.  87% of CIOs in media and retail, and 84% of CIOs from telecommunications and ICT companies have already implemented a cloud-based infrastructure as well.  The following graphic illustrates the use of cloud as part of respondent’s ICT infrastructures.
  • 28% of the CIOs surveyed stated their legacy systems were too expensive (or valuable) to abandon altogether.  The implication is that CIOs and Senior IT leaders expect cloud platforms to eventually handle the complexity of their core business systems while also meeting compliance requirements internal and external to their organizations.
  • The four industries with the highest concentration of legacy ICT systems include Financial Services (30%), Media & Retail (31%), Transport and Logistics (31%) and Public Sector (30%).  CIOs in these industries show the highest resistance to cloud adoption in the study.  6% of CIOs said they have no plans to adopt cloud computing.

Bottom line:  CIOs are looking for cloud solution providers that recognize just how uniquely complex their businesses are and can address legacy system integration challenges head-on.  With 59% saying they have responsibility for aligning business and IT strategies, greater cloud adoption at the enterprise level is inevitable.

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