Cloud computing in growth phase with decision-makers optimistic on future outlook
19 July 2010 - Colt, a leading provider of business communications and IT managed services, today published the results of a European CIO survey that demonstrates that awareness of cloud services among CIOs and senior IT decision makers has increased by over 20 per cent in just seven months. Over 68 per cent of CIOs and their peers are now saying that they are familiar with cloud technology. The UK has the highest levels of awareness (77%) followed by Germany (75%), France (71%) and Italy (66%). Spain has the lowest levels of familiarity with cloud services, with 58 per cent of CIOs and their peers saying they are familiar with the technology.
The research, conducted by Portio Research in conjunction with Colt, surveyed over 350 CIOs across Europe to evaluate their readiness for and adoption of cloud computing. The research revealed that CIOs and their peers are very optimistic about the future of cloud services, with 86 per cent believing it will be the most significant operating method of the future. Furthermore, at least three-quarters of respondents predict this will happen within the next two to three years.
The findings also reveal that there has been a shift in the emphasis in critical issues that CIOs have at the front of their minds. Flexibility, rather than cost savings, is now their primary concern as CIOs look to provide for the future needs of the companies they work for. CIOs in France, however, still rate cost reduction as their most pressing concern, with eight out of ten CIOs ranking it as the biggest issue they currently face. For larger companies, keeping pace with innovation proves to be the CIO’s biggest worry with 69 per cent of large companies highlighting innovation as their most pressing concern.
While the findings indicate that there is now a better understanding of cloud computing amongst CIOs and senior IT decision makers, the percentage planning to make an investment in cloud as part of their immediate IT spend strategy has remained unchanged, or in some cases has decreased slightly since the 2009 survey.
Adrian Saunders, Managing Director, Colt Managed Services said: “It might be expected that an increase in understanding around cloud computing would be reflected in cloud taking greater prominence in investment strategies. It is likely that CIOs are finally beginning to see through the cloud hype. They are now taking a more pragmatic view of benefits in relation to the investment needed to implement cloud solutions. This is one of the drivers behind Colt’s strategy on enterprise cloud services; ensuring that services are robust, secure and yet flexible enough to meet real business needs.”
In terms of adoption, security remains the biggest concern for seven out of ten CIOs (71%) and concerns about performance and reliability of cloud services have risen by 10 per cent. Regulatory and compliance issues moved up one ranking, from fifth to fourth place over the last seven months, reflecting concerns expressed by 57 per cent of CIOs. The geographic location of data was also cited, as the number of CIOs stating this as a concern increased by 10 per cent since the 2009 survey.
Saunders continues: “This survey confirms Colt’s view that European CIOs are moving towards a true understanding of the benefits of cloud services. More importantly, IT decision makers are embracing these new operating methods while ensuring adoption is carried out in a way that truly adds value to their organisation.”
Colt is Europe’s leading information delivery platform, enabling its customers to share, process and store their vital business information. Colt is an established leader in delivering integrated networking and IT managed services to major organisations, midsized businesses and wholesale customers. Colt operates a 13-country, 25,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 34 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 16,000 buildings and 19 Colt data centres.
Colt is listed on the London Stock Exchange (COLT). Information about Colt and its services can be found at www.colt.net
About the research
For the second year running, Portio Research sought to identify how deeply entrenched cloud services are within Europe and the readiness of companies for future take-up. The first survey was initiated in September 2009, and revealed an overwhelming lack of understanding about the cloud concept. This follow-up survey, in May 2010, was designed to test how much opinion had changed amongst CIOs and their peers.
The research was conducted amongst 353 professionals involved in technology purchase decisions. Around 60 per cent of respondents are senior-level IT professionals — CIOs, CTOs, S/VPs-IT and heads of IT functions — reporting directly to the CEO or the owner of the company. The remaining respondents either report to the head of IT or are part of an IT team. The survey, conducted in April May 2010, evaluated the responses of CIOs and their peers in five European countries; The UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
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