It's easy enough to find rosy predictions for the cloud from the vendors of related products and services, but when CIOs speak out in favor of the technology, it's hard not to sit up and take notice.
Such, in fact, is just what came out of a recent survey of IT executives from Host Analytics and Dimensional Research.
Whereas a few years ago we were still hearing considerable concern from CIOs on a number of fronts -- security and control perhaps foremost among them -- this new research suggests that these executives are increasingly optimistic about cloud computing's many benefits.
'Good for Business'
Commissioned by cloud corporate performance management and business intelligence (BI) provider Host Analytics and conducted by Dimensional Research this past May, the survey gathered the views of some 350 CIOs and IT executives on attitudes, trends and challenges pertaining to cloud adoption.
Adding further weight to Gartner's cheerful spending forecast issued earlier this month -- the research firm predicts that global spending on cloud computing will leap from $109 billion this year to $209 billion in 2016 -- this new data also paints a clearer picture as to why that is so.
“The research shows the overwhelming majority of CIO and IT executives surveyed felt cloud solutions are good for business,” said Jon Kondo, president and CEO for Host Analytics. “When asked about further possible benefits of the cloud, most felt cloud technology offered strong financial benefits and also increased ownership for business stakeholders.”
Some specifics: 92 percent of respondents said the adoption of cloud technologies is good for business, according to the report, while 67 percent said cloud technologies help IT deliver better systems at lower costs.
Sixty-two percent, meanwhile, said that SaaS applications give business stakeholders more ownership of key applications.
Of course, as is true in any real-world setting, the process of adopting cloud technologies doesn't happen overnight.
To wit: 69 percent of respondents said their companies still work primarily with on-premise applications, for example, and 88 percent reported some challenges with SaaS business applications.
A full 67 percent singled out issues integrating data among applications, while 37 percent noted that IT had been asked to take ownership for solutions purchased without their input. Keeping tabs on where data resides was another challenge CIOs named.
'High Optimism and Expectations'
“Businesses are investing heavily in cloud computing today,” said Diane Hagglund, author of the study and senior research analyst for Dimensional Research. “Our research reveals high optimism and expectations among CIOs and IT executives for cloud adoption and value, but also hurdles including the anticipation that IT will end up operating cloud applications bought by other areas of the business and without input from IT.
“In overcoming these and other hurdles to adoption, good communication is essential, but not always existent,” Hagglund added. “One silver lining: BI can help solve problems caused by siloed SaaS applications.”
Entitled “Current Trends in Cloud Adoption: A Survey of CIOs and IT Executives,” the full report is available as a free download (registration required) from the Host Analytics site.