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Forecast for the Cloud? Success, with a chance of going mainstream

Forecast for the Cloud? Success, with a chance of going mainstream

Google recently released the results of a study that asked more than 800 CFOs about the perceived and actual benefits of cloud computing compared to on-premise software. What's really interesting about this report (other than the optimistic forecast), is that it tackles the question of the cloud from a financial perspective.

The 16-page report shows that CFOs are confident in the potential of the cloud, with eighty-one percent of respondents saying that a "cloud implementation would improve employee productivity," and sixty-four percent saying the cloud could reduce operational costs by up to twenty percent.1 But the report also shows that operating in the cloud is already yielding tangible benefits. Seventy-six percent said that current cloud implementations had met or exceeded expectations for reducing costs related to system backups and data recovery, software-related costs, and IT labor.2

There is a lot to be optimistic about in this report. But the end of the report is a sombre reminder that cloud adoption isn't mainstream (yet). Respondents were asked what they thought the greatest barriers for cloud adoption were, and were allowed to choose up to three answers. Not surprisingly, data security is at the top of list with two-thirds of respondents listing it as a concern. Other concerns include potential for service outages, dependency on third-parties, and lack of a track record.3 These concerns are nothing new and, as Allan Wille pointed out in Cloud BI: Why it's here (to stay), overcoming these concerns may well come down to "seeing to believe."

The impact of these findings is clear: the rate of growth for new cloud deployments is going to continue to accelerate. For those with an eye on cloud BI, this will mean a changing of the guard, as on-premise tools are replaced by cloud and mobile solutions. Cloud BI solutions are already proving their mettle with the early adopter crowd and have given everyone a lot of cause to be excited. That leading CFOs recognize the value of cloud-computing in general, means we're close to taking the next step and going mainstream.

Discussion

We're @Klipfolio, so tell us what you think!

  • Is cloud computing ready to take the next step?
  • What are the barriers that are preventing your company from implementing cloud-based solutions?
  • If you use the cloud, what benefits have you noticed (tangible or intangible)?

Notes

1. The Business Value of Cloud Computing: A Survey of Finance Executives, CFO Publishing LLC, June 2012. https://googleenterprise.blogspot.ca/2012/08/a-financial-perspective-on-moving-to.html. Page 6.

2. Page 8.

2. Page 3.

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