The majority of UK businesses are planning to move their finance, ecommerce or security applications to the cloud, but only 30 per cent of businesses currently have cloud governing policies in place, according to a new poll.
Avanade’s “Has Cloud Computing Matured?” global survey asked 573 decision makers about their use of the cloud and attitude to future use of cloud services, revealing that most UK businesses are planning to move critical business functions to the cloud by 2013:
• 70 per cent of UK businesses are planning to move their finance applications to the cloud by 2013
• 85 per cent of UK businesses are planning to move their ecommerce and security brokering applications to the cloud by 2013
Moving software and services to the cloud can yield huge advantages for organisations, from straightforward cost savings to improvements in operating efficiencies. However, if different departments begin using cloud services without the knowledge of an enterprise IT department, the result can be ‘cloud sprawl’—the unmanaged tactical use of cloud services in the workplace.
The research shows that it’s not always IT staff buying cloud services: 45 per cent of UK executives stated that someone outside IT has bought cloud services for work use. For example, HR and legal departments account for 32 and 21 per cent of cloud purchases respectively—a clear sign of the need for strategy and digital governance.
Some companies will need to address the problem of cloud sprawl more urgently than others. Any company bound by industry regulation should understand its cloud usage to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.
Nic Merriman, Avanade’s UK Head of Cloud, commented: “Currently, 30 per cent of UK businesses using the cloud don’t have corporate policies in place for managing its use. The important point here is preparation: the cloud can and will bring great benefits, but without sound governance, based on a strategy aligned to business, in place to control cloud usage, it could pose a security risk and increase costs.
“Some businesses have reported banning certain cloud services, but a good user-centric cloud strategy and management policy makes it unnecessary to start banning services. The cloud is about making life easier—banning services while ‘blinded’ to its benefits is counter-productive.”
About the survey
The survey “Has Cloud Computing Matured?” was carried out between March and April 2011 by independent market research firm Kelton Research on behalf of Avanade. The 573 respondents include C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CIO, CTO), business unit leaders (GMs, heads of departments and functions) and IT decision-makers from 18 countries across North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Companies surveyed span major industries, including aerospace, defence, energy, financial service, government, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, media, non-profit, and telecommunications.