Aren't there numerous cloud definitions in the market already? Are all these definitions unclear?
The problem is, "cloud" has been interpreted too broadly. "A lot of definitions of 'cloud computing' broadly cover internet-based data transmission, so 'cloud' was being equated with the internet," said Ma. "Such a broad interpretation mix up services, applications and data all together, does not help anyone, not the buyers or the sellers."
Business enablement factors
The survey also asked the respondents to rank on a scale of zero to five a number of considerations in cloud computing including:
- Use of cloud services and level of satisfaction
- Factors in making cloud decisions
- Level of cloud maturity
- Innovation in the cloud
- Expectations about the cloud
- Cloud support for business goals
- Forces that influence adoption and innovation
- Confidence and optimism in the cloud market
Results of the study provide much insight on the progression of cloud adoption. For example, business enablers (score 4.08) rather than financial considerations (score 3.5) are the primary factors in making cloud decisions, with the least important factor being the ability to reduce the environmental footprint of the organization (score 2.67). The business enablement factors that most influence cloud computing decision making are related to the reliability and availability of services (mean score 4.59) and quality of service (score 4.29).
Overall, respondents feel there is room for improvement when it comes to innovation in the cloud. Nearly one in four (24%) survey takers indicate that there is no or limited levels of innovation in the market. Forty-three% of respondents believe there is a moderate level of innovation, while 33% report that the level of innovation in terms of products, services and business use is significant.
"Survey results show that CIOs and IT management understand cloud best and are most involved in driving cloud innovation in their organizations. This limits cloud maturity and innovation since cloud continues to be viewed as a technical solution and not as a business enabler," said Yung. "Cloud can provide business-building innovation, but to get to that point, there needs to be more buy-in and a better understanding among business leaders and C-level executives of the cloud's value and risk."
Nearly all respondents feel that cloud computing is far from reaching maturity, with only software-as-a-service (SaaS) cautiously placed at the earliest state of growth level, with infrastructure and platform services still considered in the infancy stages.
Still, the respondents remain moderately confident that cloud services are meeting service and strategy expectations and that problems are being addressed. Many rated cloud services as providing confidence in strategy and problem resolution (means score 3.47), indicating cautious optimism that cloud will advance in maturity and problems limiting its adoption will be addressed.
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