Slowly, more businesses are adopting the cloud, but while it's likely this model will increasingly be the norm in future, there are many who remain unconvinced. What lies behind this continued scepticism? And how can cloud providers ensure that valid concerns are addressed?
Cisco UK and Ireland CTO Ian Foddering believes that actual case studies of the technology are needed to encourage adoption, demonstrating real-world benefits of cloud.
"If we a take a step back to 12 months ago there was a lot of talk about cloud, but not necessarily real use-case examples that were pertinent to a particular organisation to say ‘this is how cloud can work for you'," Foddering told Computing.
"But what we're seeing now is a maturing of the market. We're seeing organisations [cloud providers] putting together actual use-case examples they are taking to individual organisations and saying ‘this is how cloud can help you in your business'."
Certainly, use cases that contain representative costs would be a help. While the upfront costs of cloud services are generally low, the total cost of ownership (TCO) remains uncertain. Cloud providers tend not to be transparent about the costs of using their business services, and there have been complaints of hidden charges that have, in some cases, negated any anticipated cost savings from moving IT off-site. What is needed is accessible, reliable information about what the service will cost in the months and years ahead.
In terms of the benefits offered by the cloud model, a recent survey by Computing suggests that flexibility is seen as the key positive, mentioned by over half of the 220 respondents, while 48 per cent cited the ability to access information from a variety of devices. Overall, 54 per cent of IT professionals surveyed believe cloud is positive for their organisation against just 14 per cent who felt it to be negative.
Figure: What do you think are the positive impacts of cloud computing for your organisation?
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