Cloud computing not compelling yet

CIOs in region are optimistic about adopting cloud services, but market doesn't carry sufficient offerings to make it compelling, says new survey.

While there lies significant potential in cloud computing, CIOs in the region feel the platform is currently not mature enough to be a compelling option.

According to an IDC survey of 696 IT executives in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, 17 percent said there were currently insufficient cloud services to make the platform a compelling option.

Nonetheless, a significant 41 percent were optimistic, indicating that they were either evaluating or piloting cloud-based products and services. Some 11 percent were already using some form of cloud-based applications, the survey found.

The analyst firm, too, is optimistic.

Chris Morris, director for IDC's Asia-Pacific services research and lead analyst for cloud computing research, said in a statement Thursday: "Future uptake of cloud computing looks strong."

Morris said vendors will have to develop strong cloud-based offerings over the next three years, or be left with a "minority share of the lucrative pie". And IDC expects this pie to be worth US$42 billion by 2012, or three times the value of the current market.

One of the biggest drivers pushing cloud services is that companies are looking to the platform to help lift the burden of capital expenditure. More than 50 percent of respondents said cost cutting was the main reason behind their adoption of cloud computing.

However, in addition to providing competitive pricing, vendors should also offer SLAs (service level agreements) and "complete solutions", IDC advised.

Morris explained: "Some IT vendors are well positioned to do this, but others that are focused on a single solution will need to build strong partner ecosystems to bring broad solutions to their customers."

Not every analyst firm is as excited about the cloud space. Ovum said recently that organizations should not "over-trust" the cloud, but treat it as they would other on-premise assets.

Gartner also noted that the upfront cost of SaaS (software-as-a-service) may be attractive, but total cost of ownership may turn out to be more expensive in the long run since the cost stays constant throughout the product's lifecycle.