Confusion dogs growth of cloud computing

24 Nov 2009

More than half of European CIOs are unfamiliar with cloud computing and this is a factor that is prohibiting its growth.

The rate of adoption of cloud computing is directly linked to levels of knowledge about cloud services, according to a report published by COLT, a leading European provider of managed services and business communications.

As the understanding of cloud computing increases, the rate of adoption of cloud services could be set for explosive growth with research indicating 77pc of CIOs who are familiar with cloud computing are currently evaluating, are in the process of implementing, or have already implemented, cloud-computing services.

Survey particulars

The COLT report, based on research conducted among CIOs and senior IT decision makers across 13 European countries by leading research firm Portio, also revealed that overall levels of familiarity with the term are low, with 56pc of executives surveyed saying they are not familiar with cloud computing.

The public sector ranks lowest in terms of familiarity with the service, with only 37pc of IT decision makers saying they are familiar with cloud computing. 

“This research clearly shows that for many IT decision makers, cloud computing is integral to their strategies, however, it is concerning to see that 56pc of respondents have said that they are not familiar with cloud computing,” said Maggy McClelland, managing director of COLT Managed Services.

“There is a lot of hype around cloud and this can blur the real facts. It falls to trusted advisers to inform CIOs and senior IT decision makers about the potential benefits of cloud computing. The opportunity is clear: exponential growth of cloud services will happen, but only if the industry makes large strides in improving levels of knowledge amongst IT decision makers.”

Cloud aloud

COLT has adopted and is promoting the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) definition of cloud computing and believes that, central to the job of informing CIOs about cloud computing, is the provision of industry standards.

“Cloud computing is certainly set for growth, but for the industry to develop and retain credibility we must ensure there is cohesiveness in working standards for cloud computing,” McClelland said. “Standards definition and consensus around what represents good practice will contribute to greater credibility in the market.

“This will also act as a foundation for service providers to establish simple, transparent messages based on the business benefits of adopting cloud services, rather than the confusion of technical jargon that currently dominates the sector … this is a vital step in bringing cloud computing to maturity.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years