Head in the clouds: Business starting to use cloud without knowing what they'll do with it

Companies are moving their IT infrastructure into the cloud even though they haven't finalised their broader cloud strategy.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Companies are pressing ahead with adoption of cloud computing even though they haven't finished working out their formal strategies for using it.

Analyst IDC surveyed companies in the UK, US, France and Germany, and foudn that bearly three-quarters (69 per cent) had already started using private cloud technologies, with nearly half (40 per cent) saying they were using public and hybrid cloud.

But while some companies are already taking the plunge, 64 percent of UK organisations said they are still "considering" what to do with the cloud (compared to 60 per cent in France and 52 per cent in Germany).

Another 26 per cent of the UK companies surveyed said they had already formed their roadmap (in France, 32 had done the same, and 29 per cent in Germany), while another nine per cent surveyed said they were planning to put together a strategy (eight per cent in France, 19 per cent in Germany).

Most enterprises' cloud strategies are not particularly sophisticated, however - and still focus on the technology-related drivers for cloud adoption, such as cutting the cost of IT, rather than business-related drivers, such as creating new revenue streams, according to IDC.

Of course, there's often a big difference between what organisations think they're doing and what they're really doing when it comes to the cloud - with those encountering reluctance within their IT department now able to take matters into their own hands.

Because it's so easy to procure a number of cloud services (all you need is a credit card and a bit of bandwidth), there are plenty of examples where junior members of the IT organisation - and execs in other departments - busily buying into the cloud without the knowledge of the people at the top.

And the research, sponsored by Infosys, also found that while security, data location, and legal jurisdiction issues were a factor holding back cloud adoption, one of the most significant hurdles was internal reluctance, even within the IT department. That's probably not a wise move - the rest of the business is already looking at cloud as a way to outflank the CIO.

The research quotes an executive at one UK utilities company who said that while it had no issues with public cloud technically or from a regulatory point of view, the IT department was a blocker.

"We have considerable inertia to change within the IT department as fewer internally managed IT resources means that we require fewer internal IT staff. But the cost benefits and the extent to which we can take advantage of the scalability means the benefits outweigh the reluctance of the IT department to wholeheartedly adopt cloud," the exec said.


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