Home Survey Finds Gap in Attitudes Between the Cloud “Haves” and “Have-Nots”

Survey Finds Gap in Attitudes Between the Cloud “Haves” and “Have-Nots”

London-based communications SaaS provider Mimecast has announced the results of its second annual Cloud Adoption Survey. The survey, conducted by independent research firm Loudhouse, assessed the attitudes of IT decision-makers in the U.S. and UK about cloud computing.

And the results are unsurprising, echoing the findings from elsewhere: the majority of organizations are now using some sort of cloud service, or considering moving to the cloud. Concerns about security and cost are cited as the major obstacles to adoption.

Some of the research highlights include:

  • The majority of organizations now use some cloud-based services. The report found 51% are now using at least one cloud-based application. Adoption rates for U.S. businesses are slightly ahead of the UK with 56% of respondents using at least one cloud-based application, compared to 50% in the UK. This is a substantial increase from Mimecast’s 2009 survey, when only 36% of U.S. businesses said they were using cloud services.
  • Two thirds of businesses are considering adopting cloud computing. 66% of businesses say they are considering adopting cloud-based services in the future, with once again, U.S. businesses leaning more towards adoption than their UK peers (70% of U.S. businesses, and 50% of UK ones).
  • Email, security, and storage are the most popular cloud services. 62% of the organizations that use cloud computing are using a cloud-based email application. Email services are most popular with mid-size businesses (250-1000 employees) with 70% of organizations this size using the cloud for email. Smaller businesses (under 250 employees) are most likely to use the cloud for security services, and larger enterprises (over 1000 employees) most likely to opt for cloud storage services.

Overall both users and non-users responded positively to the idea of the cloud, believing that the cloud creates better performance (61%), sustainability (62%), and smooth integration into existing systems (56%). But the report also points to some different attitudes between those who have adopted cloud technologies and those who haven’t:

  • Existing cloud users are satisfied. Security is not considered to be an issue by existing cloud users: 57% say that moving data to the cloud has resulted in better security, with 58% saying it has given them better control of their data. 73% say it has reduced the cost of their IT infrastructure and 74% believe the cloud has alleviated the internal resource pressures.
  • Security fears are still a barrier. 62% of respondents believe that storing data on servers outside of the business is a significant security risk. Interestingly, this number was higher for users of cloud applications than it was for non-users (only 59% of non-users thought it was risky, while 67% of users did.)
  • Some think the benefits of the cloud may be overstated.54% of respondents said the potential benefits of the cloud are overstated by the IT industry, and 58% indicated they believed that replacing legacy IT solutions will almost always cost more than the benefits of new IT.

“The research shows that there is a clear divide within the IT industry on the issue of cloud computing,” says Mimecast CEO and co-founder Peter Bauer. “While those organisations that have embraced cloud services are clearly reaping the rewards, there are still a number who are put off by the ‘cloud myths’ around data security and the cost of replacing legacy IT. It is now up to cloud vendors to educate businesses and end users to ensure that these concerns do not overshadow the huge potential cost, security and performance benefits that cloud computing can bring.”

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