May 12, 2011 – A global survey of cloud specialists showed 82 percent of respondents expect their cloud initiatives to have significant impact on one or more business processes, but only 28 percent said that they were prepared for these changes, according to results from the Open Group’s recent cloud computing survey.

The Open Group surveyed 307 cloud specialists at organizations ranging in size from fewer than 200 to more than 5,000 employees in February and March of 2011. Only 8 percent of survey respondents said that cloud was not currently on their IT roadmap.

The Open Group points out in its report that cloud has been at the forefront of IT discussion in 2011 due to the potential system improvements and cost savings associated with it. The three main justifications for using cloud computing as cited by respondents were cost, agility and resource optimization. Business continuity also was noted by Open Group to be a significant factor for cloud usage.

Security, integration and governance issues related to cloud were the three primary concerns of respondents, with ability to cope with change, vendor lock-in, deployment cost and compliance also being considerable worries.

When it came to cloud ROI, survey respondents felt that cost, quality of delivered result, utilization, speed of operation and scale of operation were the most useful metrics. However, only 35 percent had mechanisms in place to measure cloud ROI, as opposed to 45 percent that did not, with the other 20 percent being unsure.

Chris Harding, Forum Director for The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group, says, “Users are starting to engage seriously with the cloud. Their expectations are high, but they have a long way to go and much to learn, before those expectations can be realized.”

“More needs to be done to develop understanding of the business impact of cloud computing, and we should focus on this, as well as on the technical possibilities,” blogged Harding. 

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