IDG Enterprise recently published Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report, showing how enterprises continue to struggle with security, integration and governance while finding immediate value in collaboration and customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
IDG’s methodology is based on interviews with 1,358 respondents, stratified across CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld, and Network World websites, in addition to respondents contacted via email, and LinkedIn forums. 58% of respondents are from executive IT roles; 17% from Mid-level IT; 14% from IT professionals; 8% from middle-level business management and 3% non-manager roles were represented in the study. High tech industries are the dominant industry represented with 18% of respondents, followed by financial services, government and manufacturing (each accounting for 10% of respondents). Education (9%) and telecommunications & utilities (6%) are the other industries represented.
Key take-aways from the survey include the following:
- 49% of executive-level management see cloud computing as transformational to their business strategies. 40% are currently having their IT staff investigate the potential of cloud computing contributing to their businesses, 5% don’t see cloud as an option and 6% aren’t sure.
- Amazon (32%), Microsoft (23%) and Google (20%) are most often considered thought leaders in the field of cloud computing by respondents to the IDG survey.
- Enabling business continuity (43%), greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions (40%), speed of deployment (39%) and improving customer support or services (38%) are the top four drivers of investment in cloud computing technology according to the survey. The following graphic provides an analysis of each driver by level of relative importance. This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.
- Accelerating business value by providing access to critical business data and applications (56%); serving as a catalyst of IT innovation (56%); enabling greater employee collaboration (54%); and enabling greater levels of IT agility (54%) are the top four benefits enterprises are gaining from cloud-based applications. The following graphic provides an analysis of how cloud computing technology is impacting each of the areas shown in respondent’s enterprises. This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.
- Financial Services and high tech companies are projected to have the largest cloud computing budgets based on the survey. Enterprises are expected to invest an average of $1.5M in cloud-based services during the 2013 – 2014 timeframe. IDG projects that large companies will spend $2.8M relative to small and medium-sized businesses investing $486K on average.
- Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) (35%) are the hardest to convince regarding the value of cloud computing, followed by the board of directors or equivalent (24%), the CEO (24%), and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) (16%) third. Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) are the easiest to convince, with just 6% of respondents mentioning this group of executives being a challenge to convince regarding the value of cloud computing.
- The percentage of organizational IT budgets allocated to SaaS increased from 8% in 2012 to 13% in 2013 according to the last two IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing surveys. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) increased to 10% of overall IT budgets, up from 7% in 2012. In aggregate, 44% of IT budgets are spent on cloud computing today, increasing to 51% by 2015 in the base of enterprises interviewed for the study.
- Enterprises continue to migrate applications to the cloud that increase collaboration and enhance customer relationships first. Collaboration and conferencing solutions (38%), e-mail and messaging (35%) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Sales Force Automation (SFA) (27%) are the top three applications being migrated to the cloud in the enterprises surveyed. The following graphic shows which applications are moving to the cloud today and the plans for migrating applications in the next 12 months, and over the next 1 to 3 years. This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.
- 59% of enterprises are still identifying which IT operations are the best candidates for cloud hosting. 33% have identified all IT operations that they are comfortable having hosted in the cloud, given the current security of cloud infrastructure and application design.
- The three most important factors in selecting a SaaS application provider include the ability to configure and customize the cloud application to meet specific business needs (40%), consistent cloud application performance and availability (38%) and security certification and practices of the SaaS provider (34%).
- 61% of enterprises have at least one application that is cloud-based in their organizations today. This increased from 57% in 2012. 24% of enterprises are planning to implement cloud applications in the next 12 months and 15% are planning to between 1 to three years from now.
- In enterprises with less than 1,000 employees, CEOs (52%) are the most influential role in cloud purchasing, followed by the CIO (39%) and IT/networking staff (33%). In enterprises over 1,000 employees, the CIO (60%), followed by the IT/networking management (47%) and CTO or IT network architect (45%) are the three most influential roles in the cloud purchasing process.
- 42% of cloud-based projects are eventually brought back in-house, with security concerns (65%), technical/oversight problems (64%), and the need for standardization (on one platform) (48%) being the top three reasons why.
- The top three challenges to implementing a successful cloud strategy in enterprise vary significantly between IT and line-of-business (LOB). For IT, concerns regarding security (66%), integration stability and reliability (47%) and ability of cloud computing solutions to meet enterprise/industry standards (35%) challenge adoption. The following table compares the perceptions of IT and line-of-business leaders. This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.