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March 25, 2012

Big data drives Western European utilities’ cloud adoption: IDC

The utilities prefer private or hybrid cloud deployment options

By CBR Staff Writer

Big data is increasingly driving the adoption of cloud computing by Western European utilities, with 46.2% of utilities positive that cloud would be able to solve big data issues, according to a new survey by IDC.

The survey found that budget allocation for cloud computing is still not a priority for Western European utilities, with only 25% allocating 1% to less than 3% of budgets to it in 2012, while short-term expectations for cloud computing budget shares are positive.

According to the survey, private or hybrid cloud deployment options are preferred by Western European utilities, which further believe that public cloud computing encourages more standards and quicker implementation.

Operational performance issues have been identified by Western European utilities as the number one problem that could be resolved by using cloud computing, the survey said.

IDC Energy Insights head of EMEA Roberta Bigliani said cloud computing, together with mobile, big data, and analytics, is transforming the utilities IT landscape.

"Budget allocation for cloud is not yet a priority for utilities, so it is important to see through the hype and understand how cloud can best be applied to the industry and how to remove barriers to deployment," Bigliani said.

The survey finds that the main barriers to public cloud adoption for utilities are security and regulatory compliance, with around 24% of utilities believing that regulation will negatively impact cloud adoption.

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Utilities recognise that the real potential will be for specialty applications, while commoditised applications are most considered for going into the cloud.

Western European utilities do not expect smart grids to drive cloud uptake, with 42.9% of them expecting no change in the level of cloud adoption in the next two to five years.

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