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March 15, 2009

Recession not driving cloud adoption: survey

Firms want proven technology during uncertain times

By Steve Evans

A new survey by IT consultancy firm Avanade has revealed that, contrary to many analyst predictions, the current economic crisis is not driving the adoption of cloud computing.

The survey quizzed C-level employees about their attitude towards cloud computing. It found that in the UK 81% of respondents recognised the value of cloud computing as a real technology option during the economic downturn; however 75% of those currently using proprietary IT systems claimed that the recession has not spurred their interest.

Perhaps surprisingly, the remaining 25% said that the recession had actually decreased their interest in cloud computing.

Avanade said that organisations are waiting for the cloud model to be proven in the enterprise before diving in, as the risks are too great during the recession. Just 35% of the UK companies surveyed described themselves as early adopters of new technology with the rest saying they wait until technologies are proven before adopting them.

Of those companies already using cloud computing systems, 27% said that the economic situation had encouraged them to make more use of the technology, 60% said it had not made a difference and 13% said usage had decreased.

Ian Jordan, UK managing director at Avanade, said: “The three key benefits for cloud computing are cost-saving, immediacy and agility. The problem is not that UK organisations don’t believe that cloud computing can reduce up-front costs, indeed, 68% agreed it would. But cost alone is not enough to encourage them to launch into adoption.

“IT directors and business leaders will not take unnecessary risks solely to achieve cost savings. Any change in strategy needs to show definitive evidence of the ability to improve IT performance and capacity in as secure a way as each business demands.”

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Simon Jewell, CTO of Avanade UK, said that companies may not utilise cloud computing for business-critical operations until the technology is proven.

“They may be using it for horizontal means, not particularly business-oriented operations that may not impact the front of house operations,” he said. “A start-up, for example, may not know what their requirements are in terms of scale, so cloud computing could provide the options they need.”

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