A survey conducted by Avanade finds that cloud computing has reached its first milestone as a mature technology.

Out of the 573 C-level executives, business unit leaders, and IT decision-makers surveyed, three key indicators of the maturing of cloud computing were made apparent: businesses have increased investments in resources to secure, manage, and support cloud computing, there is growing adoption and preference for private clouds, and a healthy interest in cloud computing for revenue-generating services.

Some other survey highlights:

  • 74 percent of enterprises are using cloud computing;a 25 percent growth since Avanade’s September 2009 survey. Of organizations yet to adopt cloud services, three-quarters say it’s in future plans.
  • 60 percent of companies say cloud computing is a top IT priority for next year. The sentiment is even higher among C-level executives with 75 percent reporting cloud computing as a top priority.
  • 43 percent of companies surveyed use private cloud services.
  • The United States has seen steady cloud computing adoption rates with a 19 percent increase since a survey conducted in 2009. The highest cloud adoption rates among those surveyed were in Italy, Canada, France, Germany, and Australia, respectively.
  • The survey also revealed cloud growing pains. One in five executives reports that it’s impossible to manage all of the disparate cloud services within their organizations. About 60 percent are worried about unmanaged cloud sprawl.

The concerns about managing cloud services, especially employee access to public cloud services is well-founded. One in five respondents said they have personally purchased a cloud service without the IT department’s knowledge. The reasons given were that many thought it takes too long to go through IT and that it’s easier to provision cloud services themselves. About 27 percent say their company’s cloud policy actually prohibits the cloud services they want to use.

While 60 percent of these companies do have corporate policies in place to prohibit such actions, those surveyed say there is no real deterrent for purchasing cloud services against policy guidelines. 29 percent reported there were no ramifications whatsoever and 48 percent say it is little more than a warning.

Source: PCMag.com