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Cloud Computing

Trends and Needs:
How Cloud adoption is unfolding
and what IT Departments need as
a result

October, 2011

Key Findings: Nearly all U.S. companies use some type of cloud computing, but
few have a comprehensive cloud computing strategy yet. Increasingly
heterogeneous application environments are creating integration challenges.
• Ad hoc implementation of cloud applications: Use of the cloud for databases, collaboration,
email, accounting and other applications is happening in most companies (even SMBs). Very few
companies have adopted comprehensive cloud computing strategies, however: it is happening
on an application-by-application basis.
• Full commitment to cloud computing is spotty, and comprehensive company-wide plans are
rare: Fewer than 10% of companies have adopted a comprehensive, company-wide cloud
computing plan. Nearly a third of large companies are actively working towards such a plan; but
most companies are currently dealing with a patchwork of cloud and non-cloud applications.
• IT Professionals now see themselves as the champions of cloud computing : More than half of
IT professionals are proactively pushing cloud computing at their organizations; while non-IT
execs and line of business managers are more commonly resistant or concerned about cloud.
• Improvements in cloud technologies, continuing economic volatility and server virtualization
are spurring cloud computing adoption. Overall, businesses are reactive to cloud computing, but
IT departments are taking note of recent improvements in cloud solutions as their initial
skepticism is fading away.

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• Ad hoc nature of cloud applications is creating integration and security challenges. Since IT
architecture heterogeneity is now the status quo, IT departments are looking for expert
consulting to deal with application, security and compliance challenges.
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Most companies are using some cloud computing solutions, but
very few have adopted a comprehensive cloud plan yet
• Larger companies are more commonly working toward a comprehensive,
company-wide cloud computing plan; but the majority of US companies have no
comprehensive or company-wide plan
Level of Commitment to Cloud Computing
100%

80%

60%

40%

32
16 22

20%

4

9

33

31
17 17

10

33

29
16

19
12

0%

Adopted a
comprehensive plan
within company

Working toward a
comprehensive plan
within company

Implemented or planned Some groups use/ plan to No current plans to use
for cloud computing
use cloud computing cloud computing within
solution, but no
solutions, but no
the company
comprehensive plan
company-wide plan

Company Size
Small
3

Mid-size

Large

Base: All respondents. n=223 ● Q4: Which of the following best describes your company’s level of commitment to cloud computing?

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“What if I'm not ready to move everything to the cloud? I have yet to
speak to an enterprise customer who thinks it is realistic to move 100%
of their computing to the cloud...These organizations need a strategy
for how the cloud meets their business goals without disrupting the
complex environments.” – TechNet.com

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IT departments now see themselves as proactively implementing
cloud solutions; while non-IT executives are more resistant to it

Cloud Computing Implementation Outlook
% Proactive

% Resistive

IT Department

23

Line of Business Managers

34

End-users

Non-IT Exec. Managers

52

17

26

15

40

12
% of respondents

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Base: All respondents. n=223 ● Q5: How would you best characterize the following
groups' current outlook with respect to implementing cloud computing solutions
within your company?

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IT departments perceive many recent improvements in cloudbased technologies, which helps explain their change in attitude
• Customers are also turning to cloud in response to continued economic
uncertainty, and many see private and hybrid cloud computing as a logical next
step after virtualizing most of their server infrastructure
Cloud Computing Drivers
48

Improvements in cloud-based technologies
Logical next step after server virtualization

39

Changing economic conditions

39
34

Improvements in security
Increasing reliability of WAN or Internet connectivity

33

Cheaper WAN or Internet connectivity

33
31

Clearer/improved pricing models for cloud-based solutions

26

Growth of companies offering cloud based hosting/support

21

Keeping pace/staying ahead of competitors adopting cloud services

18

Avoiding development of SaaS silos or repetitive data/applications
0%

25%

50%

% of respondents

6

Base: All respondents. n=223 ● Q6: What's driving your company to use or consider using cloud computing solutions? Select all that apply.

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IT departments are seeking consulting services for cloud security,
compliance, and integration issues
Likelihood to Pay Third-party Companies For Consulting Services
40

Security/compliance

35

Integration

28

Network infrastructure

25

Custom application

24

Private cloud development
Strategy and design

22

Cloud delivery

22
19

Infrastructure readiness

18

Management of implementation
0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

% of respondents

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Base: All respondents. n=223 ● Q7: Which of the following cloud-computing related services is your company likely to pay third-party companies for
in the future? Select all that apply.

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On Security Challenges:
“I'm spending a lot more time on cloud computing security than I ever
imagined. I've always been focused on information-centric (data)
security, and the combination of cloud computing adoption, APT-style
threats, the consumerization of IT, and compliance are finally driving
real interest and adoption of data security.” – securosis.com/blog

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On Integration
Challenges:
“With the explosion of
cloud solutions and the
change in buying pattern
for these services (from
IT to the business) the
key challenge is to make
sure that the integration
of these services in to the
IT support processes take
place.” –
EnterpriseCIOForum.com

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On Integration Challenges:
“If you are on a cloud-based accounting system, and a cloud-based email system, and these are at two separate cloud providers: you could
lose [integrated] functionality. This lack of integration is what stopped
us from putting e-mail in the cloud. We have too many integrated
systems that make it necessary to keep our e-mail on premise.”
– sbnonline.com

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Key Takeaways and Implications

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Cloud adoption is happening at US companies, but on an ad hoc basis: While companies
with no plan to introduce cloud computing are rare, even fewer have adopted a
comprehensive company-wide plan. Instead, conversion to cloud computing is primarily
implemented within business groups or for specific applications.

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Many IT departments are now proactively promoting cloud technologies at their
companies: In sharp contrast to just a few years ago, a majority of IT departments now
see themselves as the champions of cloud computing initiatives at their company, while
they view more resistance from non-IT executives and line of business managers.
Perceived recent improvements to cloud-based technologies along with economic
uncertainty have helped changed IT departments from cloud resistors to cloud promoters.

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The ad hoc nature of cloud adoption at US companies is creating cloud-based consulting
opportunities. There is a real opportunity for third party consulting and professional
service providers who can help companies address cloud-based integration and security
challenges. Application management for most companies now is a hodgepodge of noncloud; private cloud; public cloud and hybrid cloud delivery models with sensitive data
moving in and out of company firewalls and across different providers’ public cloud
platforms. This is emerging as one of the most serious IT management challenges
for the near future.
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About this study

• Independent Research: Conducted through the CMB TechPulse
• Methodology: Method: Online survey of 223 IT decision makers
• Sample Source: Chadwick Martin Bailey’s Enterprise IT Research Panel
• One of the first ITDM-focused research panels ever created
• Extremely high-quality participants
• Panelist churn is lower than industry averages
• Panelists are more highly incented than on other panels
• Recruited from known sources of IT professionals (i.e., not open recruiting; not a consumer panel
repositioned as a B2B panel)

• Data was collected through a 15 minute online questionnaire in September, 2011

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Questions?

Chris Neal
Vice President, Technology & Telecom Practice
Email: cneal@cmbinfo.com
Follow us on twitter
@cmbinfo ,
read our blog at
blog.cmbinfo.com or

Brian Jones

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Project Manager
Email: bjones@cmbinfo.com

179 South Street, Boston, MA 02111 ● 617-350-8922 phone ● 617-451-5272 fax www.chadwickmartinbailey.com
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