Monday, December 5, 2011

Cloud Computing Yields Perceived Benefits, But Might Not Save Much Money, Global Survey Finds

About 82 percent of 3,645  cloud computing users surveyed by TNS in eight countries say they saved money on their most recent cloud project. But savings have been relatively small, with
35 percent of U.S. organizations, for example, reporting payback of less than $20,000. Cloud computing ROI

The issue is not whether respondents believe they have seen improvements. The survey indicates that nearly all organizations boost improvements in IT performance following cloud adoption, with 93 percent of all organizations reporting at least one area of IT improvement.

Among the most common improvements, 52 percent of users report increased data center efficiency and utilization, while 47 percent witness lower operating costs post cloud adoption.

And these benefits arrive quickly as 48 percent of organizations see benefits within six months. Overall, more than 80 percent of respondents see gains within six months.

Some 23 percent of all U.S. organizations and 45 percent of U.S. organizations with fewer than 50 employees report no savings, says CSC, which funded the study.

Some 88 percent of Australian organizations see improvement in their IT departments since adoption of cloud, and 82 percent see benefits in six months. However, the cost savings of cloud are not as high as expected. Some 64 percent of organizations say they save under $20,000 or nothing at all after their last cloud adoption project. In particular, cloud computing is not helping Australian small businesses save money, as 95 percent save less than $20,000 or nothing at all. In fact, 48 percent of small businesses say they saved no money.

Eighty-two percent of UK organizations see benefits from the cloud in under six months; 38 percent see benefits immediately. Almost half (49 percent) cite increased data center efficiency and utilization as the number one benefit from adopting cloud.

However, 63 percent of small businesses say their total cost of delivering enterprise services stayed the same after implementing cloud services.

Some 90 percent of U.S. respondents said their organizations experienced IT improvement post cloud. However, cost savings were not as extensively realized. In fact, nearly a quarter of U.S. organizations don’t find any cloud savings.

For the purposes of this survey, cloud computing was defined as “a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet.” The survey further specified five essential characteristics, including that cloud computing was an on-demand self-service with broad network access; involved  resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured service.

Interviews were conducted between October 2011 and November 2011. Organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Japan and Singapore were part of the survey.

None of those results should be surprising. We are early in the process of cloud computing adoption. Some would argue significant changes take time to show clear productivity gains because it takes time for human beings to adapt, and for entire processes to be redesigned around the new technology.

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