A new survey commissioned by IT services company Avanade shows that 56 percent of the IT organizations surveyed view cloud computing as a strategic imperative.
Although 43 percent said they view cloud computing as primarily a cost-savings measure, the fact that 56 percent said they think of cloud computing as a core element of their IT strategy suggests that cloud computing is maturing rapidly as a vehicle for delivering IT services.
Avanade commissioned Kelton Research to survey 502 executives from across the globe. And while it's possible that companies are adopting cloud computing at different rates around the globe, the survey found that the number of companies with no plan to adopt cloud computing was only 37 percent.
In fact, since the last time Avanade conducted this survey nine months ago, the researchers saw a 320 percent increase in the number of companies planning to deploy cloud computing.
But perhaps most significantly, only 5 percent of the executives surveyed said their company would adopt a cloud-only model. Instead, the vast majority said they expect enterprise computing to evolve along a hybrid model with tight integration between on-premise applications and cloud computing services.
At this point it's pretty clear that routine IT activities such as backup, along with dedicated applications such as CRM and other "green field" applications lend themselves most easily to the cloud. But trying to take existing back-office applications and transfer them wholly to the cloud is a bigger challenge from a development, security and management point of view than most IT organizations could realistically undertake.
But one thing is sure: Cloud computing is here to stay.