Confusion could burst bubble
Enterprises are in danger of missing out on the predicted cloud revolution because they do not fully understand the concept, according to a survey released by Rackspace.
The survey quizzed 1,500 companies – 600 in each of USA and UK and 300 in Netherlands. The sample was split 750 SMBs (up to £15m/$25m/€20m) and 750 mid-sized businesses (between £100-£500m/$150m-$750m/€140-€700m).
More than half (57%) of the British firms quizzed were unaware of the term cloud hosting. This figure was 58% for US companies.
The confusion surrounding the term was displayed by the large number of responses given when firms were asked to define ‘cloud hosting’. For UK businesses, the most popular response, with 43%, was: ‘remote and multiple servers accessed via the internet’, followed by ‘applications via the internet’ (31%).
‘Virtualisation’ (14%) and ‘online storage’ (8%) also figured in the responses from UK companies.
The survey also discovered that 27% of UK businesses ‘don’t know how they would use cloud hosting as part of their IT mix’.
Despite these results, 36% of UK businesses said they were planning or considering using it. This figure stood at 48% in the US.
Cloud computing has been tipped by many industry experts as one of technology’s hot topics in 2009, as companies look for ways to operate more efficiently during the economic downturn.
UK companies that were not considering adopting cloud computing cited cost (25%); ‘untested, new technology’ (14%) and reliability (15%) as the reasons behind their decision. Only 10% of UK businesses said security was a major concern, half the number of US companies that felt the same.
The report, carried out by Vanson Bourne, coincides with the launch of Rackspace’s Cloud Clinic, which aims to help businesses to understand cloud technology.
Lew Moorman, chief strategy officer, Rackspace Hosting, said: “Cloud technology is ideal for the current economic climate, but it is vital that businesses understand how it can best serve their organisation. At Rackspace we want to provide clearer guidelines on how they can get the most out of this technology as a matter of urgency. That is why we are launching a new cloud clinic website.”
“Cloud is going to be the hot business topic for 2009 and it is not just IT folk that will need to understand the benefits it brings but people across the business.”