Real vs. Unreal: Balancing the Benefits of the Cloud
It’s hard to put a dollar savings on flexibility and manageability, which is what led CIOs to the cloud in the first place.
But business leaders are embracing the cloud because it saves money, expands access to information, and frees people to think about more strategic issues.
IT departments clearly love the cloud. A Forrester study, Building For The Future: What The New World Of Cloud IT Means For The Network, found that 75% of the 154 corporate IT decision-makers surveyed are either already leveraging cloud resources, planning on doing so, or are expanding their current services. Two-thirds of them said the cloud provides flexibility and manageability.
Things like that may be hard to measure in dollars, but CFOs like life in the cloud, too.
CFO Research surveyed 310 senior finance executives at large U.S. companies. The resulting study, The Business Value of Cloud Computing, found that reducing IT expenses is often the primary motivator for enterprise adoption of cloud-based productivity tools, and was cited as one of the cloud’s most valuable benefits by 40% of the finance executives surveyed.
It seems to have worked; 71% of them said savings from implementing hybrid clouds met or exceeded their expectations.
Remarkably, CFOs don’t just like the savings they understand the organizational benefits, too.
Of those surveyed, 38% also regarded remote/mobile access to information as one of the most valuable benefits of cloud-based productivity tools. Two-thirds of the finance executives agreed that cloud-based systems freed IT departments to focus on strategic corporate issues.
But it’s not all clear skies in the cloud. The Forrester study also discovered that coordinating network infrastructure in an increasingly hybrid cloud environment is a significant obstacle to attaining the true value of cloud services.
“Infrastructure teams are at a roadblock regarding hybrid clouds that embrace more than two cloud platforms,” said the report, commissioned by XO Communications and Juniper Networks.
“At the top of their struggles to support cloud is integrating a cloud infrastructure with an internally owned data center.”
Organizations are responding by upgrading their networks. Forrester reported that 78% of IT decision makers had to upgrade one or more aspects of their network.
There are, in short, savings and efficiencies to be had in the cloud, even at the cost of added complexity. But CFOs cheer the evident cost savings, while CIOs embrace the added ability to get the right information to the right people, at the right time.
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