SAP recently performed a study, entitled Cloud Computing: Usage, Relevance and Satisfaction (slideshare), to evaluate today’s cloud adoption and decision makers’ perceptions of cloud computing. Their findings, which I will discuss below, are compelling.
SAP found that almost 60% of companies are already in the cloud and an additional 20% are planning to do so within the next 12 months. Therefore, cloud is already a reality in the business world and there is plenty of growth potential.
What’s driving them to adopt? According to the study, the need for reduced operating costs, improved operational efficiency and increased flexibility are the top cloud investment drivers.
There exists a myth that cloud computing is purely an IT matter. However, results showed that it was considered to be important, not only for IT, but for business success.
- 79% see cloud computing as important for the company’s business success – 35% even think it is critical. Only 7% see no direct contribution
- 85% of the IT decision makers are convinced of the importance of cloud computing
However, cloud computing is considered more relevant by IT decision makers, the U.S., service industries and financial services. Germany attributed lower relevance to cloud computing.
Adopters of cloud computing expressed satisfaction, despite its early stage. Study respondents provided positive feedback on the solutions, with 70% of cloud computing users showing a high satisfaction with used cloud solutions and 22% ‘completely satisfied.’ Again, IT decision makers were the most positive regarding cloud solutions (78% of the IT decision makers are very satisfied or completely satisfied).
Companies are also investing heavily in cloud computing, such that 20% of companies expect 50% or more of their IT budget to be spent for cloud software solutions within the next 36 months. Brazil demonstrated the highest potential cloud investments, as did the manufacturing industry.
But which cloud services are companies using and investing in most? SAP found that SaaS (the longest established cloud service) is the most frequently used. However, US and Brazil organizations showed similar openness to the different services, like IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Germany was found to be much more conservative with respect to all cloud services.
Lastly, the biggest obstacles when it comes to cloud are security concerns and costs. However, surprisingly security and costs are also seen as main benefits of cloud computing, besides the ability to access data and services from everywhere. In addition, these top barriers and benefits were the same across countries, target groups and industries.
I know that’s a lot of information, so here are my top take-aways from this enlightening study:
- Cloud adoption is already high and is continuing to grow
- Cloud is seen as important and relevant for a company’s business success, not just IT
- Satisfaction is high amongst cloud adopters
- Businesses are investing a significant portion of their IT budgets in cloud
- SaaS is the most used cloud service
- Companies’ goals in implementing cloud solutions are to reduce costs and increase efficiency and flexibility
- Financial and security aspects are critical both as pros and cons
SAP commissioned TNS Infratest to conduct a survey of over 600 Technology and “Line of Business” decision makers and software users across organizations with at least 500 employees in the US, UK, Germany and Brazil. The survey was completed in April 2012.