Survey shows IT still focused on the wrong issues about cloud

Studies debate the wrong questions about why companies adopt the cloud

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Most are happy to wait until cloud providers can show a long record of good security and high availability, rather than jump at something potentially risky, even for good ROI projections, the survey found.

Almost half of companies are investing in cloud systems according to a CIO survey published this month. Many are doing it to get more bang for the same buck; others are going for the agility of new systems on new platforms, but aren't putting anything mission-critical in the cloud until it's proven itself.

Of course, it's possible they don't know how much they rely on the cloud already.

A recent Forrester survey showed 87 percent of business-unit managers thought good technology is the key to their company's success, but that 65 percent hold out part of their budgets specifically to buy IT services without having to go through IT.

That shows three things:

  1. That business units have different priorities for IT and different criteria for approving them than IT;
  2. Business units are willing to pay extra to get what they need on their own terms;
  3. SAAS and the cloud have democratized enterprise technology to the point that business managers with a credit card can take a big slice of responsibility off IT's plate while the CIO is debating cost vs. scalability vs. flexiblity vs. platform maturity.

The end result is that it doesn't matter why IT people decide to adopt or integrate the cloud into traditional IT. End users want it and are buying it with or without IT's permission.

If IT isn't there to help them do it safely and effectively, it's the IT bosses who will be out on their ears – not the business managers or cloud providers, no matter what anyone says about cost.

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