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Cloud Survey Foggy: 40 Percent Still Experimenting With the Cloud

A bunch of credible people recently got together and initiated a cloud computing survey that was sent out to 413 vendors and users, who reported their attitudes on the maturity of cloud computing, along with their perceived barriers/benefits to implementation. The primary survey backer was North Bridge Partners, but GigaOM and The 451 Group were also primary players. The effort was further enhanced by some 30 industry collaborators.

Overall, the survey addressed not only maturity, barriers and benefits, but a range of additional topics that included sourcing, hiring, TCO, cloud’s influence on business sectors and the appetite of users for an expansion of cloud service offerings. Survey details can be found in GigaOM Pro’s new report, Field Guide to Cloud Computing.

Not surprisingly, there are no revelations to be found in the key findings reported by North Bridge. For example, respondents indicated that “Cloud computing is clearly still in its infancy,” as 40 percent said they are still in the experimental stage, while another 26 percent said they are waiting for the market to mature before committing to a formal cloud strategy. Not everyone is sitting on their hands, however, as respondents have on average been using one cloud solution or another for 20 months.

The press release describing the survey results unfortunately does not mention how the 413 respondents were broken down by company size, which makes it impossible to get a clear picture of what is happening in the market. All I can say is that I have been on the receiving end of many press releases describing substantial cloud projects, and we all know that big companies usually lead the way into new markets.

When it comes to the primary cloud drivers, the survey found that scalability and costs were the most mentioned, followed by agility and innovation when implementing new applications. Longer-term drivers of up to five years were competitive differentiation, mobility and “ensuring application interoperability through the use of open cloud APIs.

Security, the perennial thorn in the side of cloud, again reigned supreme, along with compliance. Runners-up included interoperability and vendor lock-in.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 06/30/2011 at 12:48 PM


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