Undeniable link between BYOD and cloud adoption

IT solution provider CDW's survey of close to 1,300 IT professionals offers deeper insight into the cloud decision-making process.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

The close link between the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement and cloud services adoption is underscored in a survey of IT professionals about cloud adoption trends recently published by IT solution provider CDW.

Almost three quarters of the IT professionals surveyed by CDW said their organization's decision to take on cloud computing was "significantly influenced" by employees' use of their personal mobile devices and related consumption of cloud applications.

What's more, approximately 68 percent of them reported that requests for cloud computing support had increased over the past two years, and 61 percent said their organization was moving faster to consider or implement cloud services as a result.

How many of them have actually adopted a cloud solution? The answer is 39 percent, which was up from 28 percent in CDW's comparable 2011 survey — a pretty substantial increase for just one year. Another 33 percent of the CDW survey respondents were in the "planning" phase, while 31 percent were in "discovery".

Among large companies in the survey, the most popular cloud application was for conferencing and collaboration, while storage dominated the cloud consumption among small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

"Organizations' adoption of cloud computing has steadily increased, which comes as no surprise given the growth of mobility and the consumerization of IT," said Stephen Braat, general manager of cloud solutions at CDW, commenting on the data. "By aligning cloud services with critical applications and preferences of employees that use mobile devices, organizations can better capture business value that includes cost savings, increased efficiency, improved employee mobility, and an increased ability to create innovative new products and services."

CDW's cloud trends report is based on the views of 1,242 IT professionals surveyed by the IT solutions provider during August and September 2012.

About one third of those who participated in the research represented organizations with 500 to 10,000 employees. Here's how the rest of the respondents break down: 23 percent (100 to 499 employees), 17 percent (10,000 plus employees), 13 percent (less than 50 employees), and 12 percent (50 to 99 employees). About half of the respondents had an IT director or manager title.

Here are the key cost factors being used in the cloud decision-making process:

  • Software management costs (65 percent)

  • Software licensing costs (63 percent)

  • IT labor costs (52 percent)

  • Cost of capital to our organization (41 percent)

  • Electric bills (21 percent)

  • Real estate costs (12 percent).

The biggest obstacles slowing adoption (no real surprises here):

  • Security concerns with proprietary data or applications (46 percent)

  • Performance (32 percent)

  • Challenge of integrating cloud applications or infrastructure with legacy systems (25 percent).

And, finally, here are some other key findings that should be of particular interest, since they represent the opinions of those who have already adopted cloud services (about 480 participants in the survey):

  • 46 percent of those surveyed reported that the "business" side of their company is way more involved in cloud decisions that in other IT decisions

  • 58 percent of existing cloud users said that the decision-making process was longer than they anticipated (46 percent of them said it took more than three months longer).

If you're too busy to read the cloud presentation (or you don't want to register at the link I provided), there's a short video summarizing the data highlights below.

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