Businesses in Ireland, UK not convinced of cloud benefits

4 Mar 2010

Businesses in Ireland and the UK are still not convinced of cloud computing’s benefits, a survey released by independent IT management software company CA, Inc., suggests.

Some 8pc of respondents of the survey, Unleashing the Power of Virtualisation – Cloud Computing and the Perceptions of European Business, said they think of cloud as a short-term fad, whereas an additional 82pc said they need more convincing of the benefits of cloud computing.

The survey of 550 enterprises, carried out by Vanson Bourne, an international research organisation, on behalf of CA, found that server virtualisation is gaining real traction, however, with 84pc of respondents saying they are either implementing it or planning to.

Then the number dives when it comes to other steps which move from a static environment toward cloud computing: automatic provisioning (24pc), automatic deprovisioning (14pc) and dynamic resource allocation (34pc).

“Our experience tells us that companies are using virtualisation in their data centres to reduce costs,” said Colin Bannister, VP technical sales, CA.

“However, they indicate they do not yet know how to automate, manage and secure virtualised environments. Until they do this they will struggle to reap the full benefits of virtualisation, which go far beyond the cost savings of server consolidation.”

Because of this, Bannister said, CA will soon be launching ‘The Cloud Academy’ – educational round tables which are designed to help show organisations how to get the most out of their virtualisation efforts and grow towards a cloud-connected infrastructure and services.

Some 58pc of businesses see cloud computing as synonymous with outsourcing (external cloud) whereas 42pc do not.

Benefits of cloud computing

Whether internal or external, respondents are unclear on the benefits which cloud can bring them, and seem unable to link the technical advantages of cloud (on-demand self-service, broad network access, rapid elasticity and metered service) with the business benefits they provide – cost savings, better ROI, increased availability, ability to deploy new services more quickly.

Metered service – a key selling point of the external cloud model – is only seen as an advantage by 22pc of respondents.

When looking at the drawbacks of cloud, management (48pc) and security (36pc) are seen as the biggest inhibitors. Adding to this, 68pc of respondents don’t feel as if they have adequate in-house capabilities to deliver a cloud infrastructure at present.

“It is up to the IT industry not only to make the case for cloud, but to make the case for each of the technologies which support it, so that companies have a smooth and successful transition,” Bannister said.

Photo: Colin Bannister, VP technical sales, CA