Cloud’s Strategic Importance: The View from Europe
June 17th, 2011 By: Olafur Ingthorsson
According to a new IDG Research study, IT decision makers in Europe see business agility as providing the greatest impetus to adopt cloud computing. Of the more than 600 IT managers surveyed, more than 90 percent agree that the cloud provides a way to access the on-demand, self-managed virtual infrastructure, consumed as a service. Sixty percent say they will redeploy company application and hardware/equipment budgets to help pay for cloud projects.
Enterprise hybrid clouds
According to the study, there are signs that private and public cloud models are giving way to the enterprise hybrid cloud. Public clouds lack the proven business-scale technologies and security controls and private clouds have limited scalability potential and sometimes miss obtaining satisfactory utilization levels. Advantages of enterprise hybrid clouds are numerous including offloading between private and public clouds, guaranteed resource allocation, control dashboard for managing resources across internal and external environments and enterprise-class security levels.
European IT leaders value agility as the primary motivation for cloud computing. Seventy-one percent of European CIOs at large organizations say agility tops their agendas, while only 44 percent point to reducing the IT infrastructure investment. This is particularly evident among U.K. and French IT leaders that currently are in the process of re-architecting infrastructure resources into hybrid cloud environments.
Globally, security concerns are the number one challenge or barriers for cloud deployment. Over 90 percent of CIOs in Germany and France claim they are much more likely to use cloud computing if security could be guaranteed to be the same or better than in their internal data centers. Fifty-six percent of European CIOs rank cloud security as extremely or very challenging. Other management issues like recovery, performance and compliance are also high on the agenda.
To address many of the critical issues of concern, respondents acknowledge the importance of investing not just in technology but in their IT team’s education and training. Sixty-five percent of respondents say that successful cloud deployments require in-house skills to be fostered and roles created to ensure company-wide adoption.
Cloud business case
Interestingly, it seems that European IT leaders have a generally positive view of current vendors’ abilities to meet a number of key requirements would help them fulfill a number of the promises of their business cases. The majority is pleased with open standards an open source capabilities as well as vendors’ business-level quality of service and business-level security. German CIOs tend to have the most positive opinion of vendors of the respondents.
Increasing Strategic Importance
The study reveals that not only is cloud adoption expanding rapidly, but also growing in strategic importance. Eighty-seven percent of the European respondents say that cloud computing is either a critical, high or moderate priority for their organizations over the next 18 months. With the increasing emphasis of performance, business-level security and quality of service for deploying mission-critical applications in the cloud, the strategic importance is greatly increasing. Perhaps the enterprise hybrid cloud not only paves the way to a more strategic organization, but also provides a great promise to enterprises seeking to deploy cloud computing.
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Cloud’s strategic importance should not come from either the Americas or Europe, it should come from Asia, the fastest growing IT business region in the world. The rise of India and China, coupled with the high IT infrastructures of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, can be excellent indicators and be used to gauge the benefits of cloud computing.
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