Three quarters of Ireland’s CIOs and IT directors have already adopted a cloud computing strategy, a survey of Irish CIOs and IT directors by PricewaterhouseCoopers claims.
However, most organisations are not yet prepared to trust mission critical systems to the Cloud, with data security and privacy being their greatest concerns.
Cost is seen as a key driver for adopting Cloud. Over half (52pc) of survey participants reported that the desire to reduce IT costs is the key driver for moving to the cloud.
The CIOs and IT leaders confirm hesitation in moving to the cloud. For example, a fifth (21pc) are adopting a wait and see approach, and a third (32pc) have adopted a cloud strategy for non-critical systems only.
"The survey confirms that there is still some hesitation amongst Irish business where cloud computing is concerned," Ciaran Kelly, Consulting Partner, PwC said.
“While some of this hesitation is not without foundation, cloud computing, if properly adopted and having all of the relevant systems and controls, can pay immediate dividends to many organisations.
“This is not just in terms of potential cost savings but also in terms of the ability to support business innovation and flexibility," Kelly said.
Barriers to adopting cloud computing
The key barrier impacting the adoption of cloud computing is the lack of confidence in security/data privacy (37pc). A fifth (20pc) said that they had regulatory compliance and intellectual property concerns while a further 17pc said that return on investment is unclear.
The top two key benefits cited for cloud computing are the ability to support business innovation and flexibility (38pc) and access to new IT applications without the need for significant capital investment.
he survey confirms that non-critical lower risk business applications will be those first deployed to the cloud. For example, three-quarters (75pc) said that the specific applications they will first deploy to the cloud are mobile support systems; internal portals/intranets and email/social networking systems.
Only 12pc said that they would first deploy critical systems such as internal corporate systems (finance/payroll/HR) or enterprise wide operational systems.
"We would urge all CIOs and IT Directors to fully explore cloud computing as a tool to support innovation and flexibility across the business," Pat Kelleher, PwC Consulting said.
“The first step is to develop a strategy to exploit the opportunities which Cloud Computing offers while taking into account the challenges and potential pitfalls related to data security, privacy, tax and regulatory compliance, software licensing and intellectual property rights," Kelleher added.