Commissioned by Fujitsu and Microsoft, Insights Quarterly is an independent research initiative undertaken by Connection Research to shed light on ICT investment plans, operational challenges and the current issues in aligning ICT with business needs.
From the responses of 179 CIOs across Australia, it can be seen that cloud computing, though still in its infancy, is the future of ICT. The maturing of a range of underpinning technologies and business practices is bringing its potential to fruition including: broadband communications which now has sufficient bandwidth to allow the transfer of significant amounts of data; the provision of full applications functionality as a web-based service; cost effective outsourcing; and the move to mobile computing.
Greg Stone, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Australia, said, “This research establishes that cloud computing has arrived, and will continue to grow in functionality and popularity. The idea of an ‘information utility’, where generic computing power is available on demand, like water or electricity, is a much closer reality.”
The gathering momentum of cloud computing is registered in the significant percentage of surveyed organisations budgeting for cloud initiatives in the next 12 months. The cloud is increasingly being regarded as ready for core business systems like ERP and Business Intelligence (BI), while migration is well underway for applications such as email and messaging.
Craig Baty, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, said, “The move to cloud is gathering steam.The findings of this research reflect Fujitsu’s experience as our customers are increasingly moving core business systems into the cloud.”
As CIOs embrace cloud computing, scalability and flexibility are balanced with the need for reduced expenditure. Those that have started using the cloud for some applications are more likely to consider it for others as they prove its benefits.
Baty said: “Interestingly, the research shows that price is not key for cloud provider selection. Although cost savings and increasing productivity are listed as main drivers for CIOs to move to the cloud, when it comes to selecting a cloud platform provider ‘Price’ ranks very low in the selection criteria. Other factors like ‘Security of Data’, ‘Support from the Supplier’, and ‘Privacy’ rank much higher on the list.”
While cloud continues to mature, it still lacks a standard definition. Stone said: “In the eyes of the surveyed CIOs, cloud is still difficult to define but they know what it means to them. While more than 50 percent of respondents say cloud is overhyped, they nearly all agree that it is justified as it offers many advantages for their organisations.”
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