Cloud computing is included in the survey as a technology trend, although it is still not seen as a key priority on the CIO agenda.
Despite this, the upwards trend in cloud adoption has continued and 54% of respondents now state that they use cloud computing within their organisation, up from 38% in 2011. This figure is on a par with research from the United Kingdom which shows the cloud adoption rate in the UK at 53%.
CIOs are increasingly realising the benefits of driving a cloud strategy in their business with 77% of respondents stating that the decision to adopt cloud based services was IT driven. This is an interesting finding as other international research suggests CFOs are increasingly becoming the top technology decision maker. This may be an indication that the benefits of adopting cloud may not yet be widely understood at board level in Ireland.
Among the organisations which are using cloud services, Software as a Service (SaaS) is most popular with an adoption rate of 72%. CRM, ERP and finance applications are the most popular applications to be delivered by cloud services. Similar to last year, 41% of respondents are using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), with the most popular uses being back-up and storage. Platform as a Service (PaaS) usage is at 18%. This is primarily being used to provide development and testing environments.
It is interesting to note that for the first time the results show organisations blending all three cloud services models (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) to deliver their organisation’s needs. 14% of respondents are currently using some combination of the three models to deliver value for their organisations, a trend we should see increasing over time as cloud technologies continue to mature and converge.
The survey shows that the private sector is still leading the way in relation to cloud adoption. 61% of private sector respondents use some form of cloud computing. This is in contrast to the public sector where only 25% of respondents have used cloud based services. This should change given the recent launch of the Government Cloud Computing Strategy which places cloud computing at the heart of future government ICT strategy. This strategy may lead to a growth in cloud services over time as ICT departments seek to exploit cloud based technology to deliver scalable, value-for-money services for the public sector.
Of the respondents who are not currently using cloud computing within their organisations, 47% have plans to research cloud and 32% plan on trialling cloud over the next 18 months. Once again it is the private sector which is leading the way with 54% of private sector organisations surveyed planning on researching cloud services over the next 18 months and an additional 31% intending to carry out trials.