TMCnet Feature
May 20, 2013

Cloud Adoption Exceeding Expectations and Hopes, New Global Study Finds

By Rory J. Thompson, Web Editor

In new research scheduled to be released this week and obtained exclusively by, adoption of the cloud by both US and European businesses is smashing all preconceived notions that indicated companies were moving warily into the technology or holding off entirely.

The study, commissioned by CA Technologies and conducted jointly by Luth Research and Vanson Bourne, has found that not only are businesses large and small embracing the cloud, but they’re enjoying the savings that initially seemed to have been overhyped by cloud providers, and finding that their security concerns are being addressed and allayed.

Those surveyed – 542 organizations in the US and Europe using various types of cloud for at least one year or more – confirm that cloud computing is delivering on all of the major promises vendors have made for it, most notably that it can save money and speed time-to-market. Experienced cloud users surveyed also shed light on the evolving nature of cloud and how, as use matures, the need for sophisticated IT management and security tools to guarantee cloud continues to deliver in the long term is becoming much greater.

The study also found that companies most experienced with cloud computing — four or more years and three or more types of cloud services (Infrastructure as a Service — IaaS, Platform as a Service — PaaS, and Software as a Service — SaaS (News - Alert)) — consumed are now demanding IT management tools such as end-to-end service automation, service-level management across both cloud and non-cloud environments and the ability to switch between cloud service providers.

Among the findings of the research:

  • Use of cloud computing has exploded in the past three years, with 87 percent of the respondents starting their use of cloud in that time frame.
  • SaaS leads the way as the most widely implemented type of cloud service (94 percent of the US and 68 percent of the Europe companies in the survey had implemented SaaS). IaaS and PaaS follow closely, only 10 to 15 percentage points behind SaaS.
  • The US is leading Europe in current cloud use. Fifty-five percent of the companies in the US have been in the cloud for three or more years, compared with 20 percent of Europe respondents. But Europe is catching up fast, with 38 percent of the Europe respondents using cloud for two to three years.

More Surprises

For some respondents of this survey, the cloud is helping to dispel the perception of IT as slow-moving, and is exceeding expectations with nearly half (or more) of all respondents indicating their cloud deployment was completed ahead of schedule. Deployment expectations may have been lower from fear of the unknown, or the touted complexity of the cloud – questions not raised in the study. However, the study also confirms that the speed of cloud deployment was a pleasant surprise for most respondents.

In fact, around 40 percent of the respondents reported that cloud is exceeding their expectations. Respondents attributed their success to it being “easier to implement than anticipated.”

And while “security” often appears at the top of the list of concerns related to cloud computing, the respondents in this study – those experienced with cloud computing – somewhat surprisingly reported turning to the cloud in an effort to improve security. Ninety-eight percent of enterprises surveyed reported that the cloud met or exceeded their expectations for security. This was true across users of IaaS, PaaS or SaaS. Furthermore, almost one third indicated “security has been less of an issue than originally thought” when asked to share their primary reasons for success with cloud computing.

See the infographic below for more information:

Please click on the image to enlarge.

Advice and Next Steps

Perhaps the key takeaway from this survey is that if you are not in the cloud yet, you need to get moving; there are substantial business and technology benefits to be gained. While it is possible there are still a lot of pilot projects in which companies are just testing cloud services, the number of companies that plan to spend greater than 30 percent more on cloud services this year shows that a substantial portion of the business world is moving beyond the pilot phase into more widespread use.

The full research whitepaper including a number of charts and graphs showing use and implementation numbers, along with a summary slide deck and executive summary infographic, is scheduled to be available as free download later this week at

Any company still on the sidelines about adopting cloud technologies should really consider moving quickly, as leading companies have already done. Maybe that’s one of the reasons they are leaders.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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