Cloud decisions are no longer in the IT department's hands - the suits have taken over

Summary:A new report has revealed that decisions around cloud are increasingly being made by people outside IT departments.

The cloud has well and truly slipped the bonds of the IT department, a new report has found.

The report, commissioned by IT consultants Capgemini and released on Thursday, surveyed 460 organisations globally and 50 in the UK, and shows that the responsibility for cloud adoption lies primarily with employees without an IT background.

"The real cloud evangelists these days seem to be on the business side and not the IT side," Ron Tolido, senior vice president for Continental Europe at Capgemini, told ZDNet. "Until now cloud was often considered a more technology-driven topic."

In the UK, business units make decisions on cloud 45 percent of the time, in comparison to IT with 44 percent and third parties with 11 percent.

"Almost half of all decisions around cloud in terms of budget, selection and implementation are made from the business side," said Tolido. "It means that from the IT side more and more people have to deal with people like chief marketing officers, boards, executives, people responsible for HRM [human resource management], procurement, or finance and administration. That's quite a shift."

Cloud uptake

In the relatively mature UK market, 83 percent of companies have decided on a strategy for adopting cloud compared with 76 percent of organisations globally. "The uptake of cloud is highest in the US and Europe is lagging behind, certainly in countries like the Netherlands and France," said Tolido.

In total, 89 percent of UK firms agree that the economic climate is driving the move to the cloud, citing moving into emerging markets and territories (53 percent) and deploying new applications (23 percent) as the two industry events or triggers that encourage organisations to reach for the cloud.

"From the IT side more and more people have to deal with people like chief marketing officers, boards, executives, people responsible for HRM..." — Ron Tolido, Capgemini

The UK favours the use of private cloud, with 45 percent of all companies sampled, whether cloud users or not, saying private cloud off-premise, hosted by a partner was their preferred cloud use model. A further 22 percent said they'd prefer on-premise private cloud. "We thought there would be more support for public cloud scenarios," Tolido added. 

Software-as-a-service is the most commonly used type of cloud service in the UK with 42 percent of companies surveyed by Capgemini saying they used it. Meanwhile, infrastructure-as-a-service was used by 40 percent and platform-as-a-service was used by 36 percent. 

According to Tolido, businesses are using the cloud for functional applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), collaborative procurement, finance and administration and human capital management.

The UK summary says the main factors holding businesses back from adopting the cloud include: "lack of integration" (cited by 45 percent of firms); "lack of agility in the business" (35 percent); "fear of security breaches" (33 percent); and "lack of clear cloud strategy" (31 percent).

Of the UK firms who haven't yet developed a cloud strategy, 83 percent say it is not seen as a priority at present.

Topics: Cloud, EU, United Kingdom

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Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail, covering emerging technology in electronics, energy, defence, materials, aerospace, automotive and healthcare. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging... Full Bio

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