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What is holding us back from the cloud?

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85% of IT decision makers say they want cloud-based collaboration in their enterprises, yet only have 34% have an implementation strategy. What is holding back the case for cloud?

The business and financial arguments are strong, according to BT and Cisco’s new study

This survey of 500 IT decision makers in large enterprises across France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK shows that 63% say cloud would become the relevant way of delivering voice and communication services in the future. Improved workplace, productivity and employee engagement is the expectation of cloud collaboration through demand for applications such as.
  • Desktop sharing (91 per cent)
  • Unified messaging (79 per cent)
  • Desktop HD video (78 per cent)
  • Secure access to the corporate network from personal devices (77 per cent)

 

The financial benefits of cloud collaboration are well accepted too

  • Organisations already using cloud collaboration technology report an average 24 per cent reduction in total operating costs
  • Reducing business travel, mobile and equipment maintenance costs is a priority for 2 in 3 IT Decision Makers
  • 40 per cent say cloud would be cheaper to operate than installed premise-based equipment

What are the barriers to cloud collaboration implementation?

Cloud computing has been marketed for nearly ten years now, but IT Decision Makers state the following as barriers to deployment:

Security concerns — 63 per cent. Despite assurances and the latest infrastructure, many still worry about the security of data stored in the cloud. What if the network goes down? What if standards of governance and control are weaker than our own? What if our competitors’ information is stored in the same data centre? One in five organisations goes as far as saying their culture is ‘anti-cloud’ despite strong evidence that cloud systems are as secure as any other for most applications.

Other priorities — 28 per cent. There is no question that IT Decision Makers manage each year a large number of new projects. Finding the time to fully understand a new way of working is a big commitment in their schedules, despite having a long term vision of wanting cloud based collaboration services.

Disruption — 21 per cent. For this group, there is a feeling that ‘we’ve only just got the existing system working’, why should we change and have to deal with something new? Depreciating existing technology, disrupting employees who have to learn new collaboration tools seems complicated and time consuming. Better to stick with existing ways of working, even if they are inefficient.

Followers, not leaders?

The Digital Dislocation research was far-reaching: it shows cloud collaboration technology is the future and it is being adopted. The cloud suppliers will continue their efforts to reassure organisations about security concerns. But, perhaps the unstated reason why IT Decision Makers are cautious is nothing more than old-fashioned ‘bandwaggoning’ or ‘me-tooism’. Are some only happy to adopt a new technology when they see evidence all around that others have taken the step first? While this is very human, organisations are wasting time in the race to grab the benefits of cloud collaboration in an ultra-competitive economy.