Cloud has ROI, but we can't measure it yet: survey

Open Group survey: When it comes to cloud, bring it on -- but not too fast, enterprises say.

A majority of cloud proponents within organizations believe cloud computing is easy to evaluate and justify. However, most do not have the means yet to measure any potential ROI.

Such is the state of internal cloud computing, as documented in The Open Group's latest cloud computing survey, covering 307 companies around the globe. The group found 91% of respondents were interested or already adopting cloud, which may represent a self-selection bias in the survey. However, what is notable is the fact that most of these cloud efforts were focused on so-called hybrid (45%) cloud projects -- which represent a mix of private and public cloud services -- or purely private clouds (29%).

Return on investment was another hot-button explored in the survey. A majority, 55%, said it would be "easy" to evaluate and justify cloud-oriented projects, versus 45% who saw difficulties. However, capturing ROI metrics is another story -- only 35% of respondents say their organizations currently have an ROI mechanism in place.

Favored metrics associated with cloud ROI include cost (29%), quality of delivered result (21%), speed of operation (15%), and utilization of resources (15%).

What are the biggest concerns about cloud? Security tops the list (18%), followed by integration issues (15%) and governance (14%).

The question on the impact of cloud also produced some interesting results. While 82% said that they expected their cloud initiatives to have significant impact on one or more business processes, only 28% said that they were prepared for these changes.

As Dr. Chris Harding, forum director for The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group put it:

“The survey shows that users recognize that cloud computing will impact their business processes, but that they are not yet prepared to handle that impact or, in many cases, even to measure it."

So, bring it on, but not too fast.

(Slides with survey data can be downloaded from The Open Group site -- registration required.)


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