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December 27, 2012

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2012 Cloud Adoption Portends 2013 Trends

By Dave Courbanou

Cloud detractors would say that cloud computing is a still-maturing market with many pain points to be ironed out, but there’s mounting evidence to the contrary. The latest findings from a survey by Dimensional Research, sponsored by HostAnalytics, suggests that at the end of 2012, CIOs aren’t just savvy on cloud, they’re excited about it and they understand its potential.

Across the globe, 327 CIOs and business executives participated in the survey. The most prominent finding showed nearly all those surveyed had a reason for adopting cloud apps. Close to 60 percent citied compliance requirements as a primary driver of need for a cloud-based solution, while another 53 percent saw cloud as a major value to the overall workplace. More interestingly, 51 percent felt cloud was also a major factor in fostering a competitive advantage for the business.

Better still, CIOs are bullish on what cloud can do for their employees, as well as their business. Nearly 80 perfect of all respondents said employees interacting with cloud apps is beneficial, and 95 percent of CIOs say that IT employees want to gain experience with cloud systems.

But there are some troubling figures, too. Sixty one percent of all CIOs surveyed said on-premise software has not been recently upgraded, while 54 of all those surveyed say it’s been over two years since any critical software has been updated. Inside that space, another 32 percent said it’s been three years since an upgrade, while 14 percent attest the last update came four or more years ago. Close to 30 percent of CIOs “lack confidence that they are in compliance” with existing business app requirements.

Don’t fret if you’re among the long-since upgraded. The take-away here for CIOs should be that — cloud or not — regular updates to mission-critical software is important for overall productivity and keeping businesses from breaking compliance. But the older software has become, the more likely it is that cloud applications can put a company ahead.

Why? The most telling finding showed that 35 percent of CIOs and 12 percent of business executives saw no real requirement for cloud or on-premise, but felt cloud was a more valuable investment overall.

Even if a CIO takes a slow and steady approach to the cloud, there’s no need to worry about accelerating the path. A whopping 83 percent of CIOs noted no issues finding technical help to deliver and deploy cloud applications. That’s good news, especially since finding a cloud vendor to trust can often be a precarious first step.

If 2012 was the year of playing the field, 2013 is the year to pick a position and stay at home. The cloud is more than just a business tool or an upgrade to internal IT, it’s a full-on business development path that can iron out inefficiencies, save money and motivate employees. If there isn’t something on the table for cloud, it should be now. Best of all — although business executives were “less dramatically” enthusiastic about the cloud than CIOs were, ideas on cloud adoption are no longer foreign. That means in 2013, its really up to CIOs to pave their way into the cloud, since the hurdle of convincing executives on its usefulness are no longer an obstacle.

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