A recently-released survey (free to download) of 468 CIOs and other IT decision-makers from Research In Action shows that while cloud computing adoption is on the rise, there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding cloud application performance as well as potential hidden costs down the line.
The survey showed fairly conservative decision-making processes among the CIOs polled. Even though cloud computing was the most-cited response for long-term technology investments, CIOs are slow to embrace the more advanced features that cloud computing enables.
Of those polled, 24% reported investing in cloud technologies for test environments and backup, but less than 10% are investing in either SAP technologies or cloud-based security systems. The most common usage, among 78% of respondents, was simply for e-commerce purposes.
From the report, it seems there are a few reasons for this conservative outlook.
About 79% of those polled were concerned about hidden costs or downstream disruptions causing lossage. These fears about downstream problems were also reflected when nearly 2/3 of those responding said they were concerned about poor end-user experiences.
A lack of proper tools to monitor cloud performance adds to this: 73% of companies are still using older methods to track their cloud computing efficiency, mostly just going by uptime and data transmission numbers. Only a handful have systems in place, allowing them to track the end-user experience or to directly quantify user productivity on cloud-based systems.
What this paints is a somewhat contradictory picture of cloud computing, at least as CIOs today see it. Companies are rushing to invest in cloud technologies, presumably due to a combination of market pressures and the promise of new features, even though their CIOs have serious concerns about the overall effectiveness of these strategies.
For companies looking to invest in cloud technologies, this new report is a call for more in-house data-gathering, and more investment into solid ways to monitor and quantify the end-user experience. Tracking data such as page-rendering times and user-interactivity time will allow a CIO to have a better overview of the effectiveness of their cloud investments, potentially easing their concerns about unknown factors.
It appears that the cloud is here, and it’s here to stay for the conceivable future. A slow, steady migration towards cloud computing seems to be a strategy that pays off. Companies with the tools and the know-how to fine-tune the cloud experience will be the ones that benefit most as this transition happens.