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It’s Time To ‘Cloud With Confidence’

Cloud With Confidence

Are you an enthusiast, an avoider or a blocker? No, we’re not talking about your outlook on life but your opinion of the Cloud – that huge data-safe infrastructure up there in cyber space, safeguarding all our documents and freeing us from lumbering heavy loads of files around with us on the tube.

Rewind to 2013 and we were all boxed into three neat little categories regarding how we felt about the Cloud. Your attitude towards adoption defined you – you were either an enthusiast (22% of us), an avoider (23%) or a pessimistic blocker (a mere 3%). There was however a middling category where 35% of us sat. Those of us in that category stated we would evaluate just how useful the Cloud would be to our own agendas before evaluating its benefits.

A Storm Of New Trust

According to recent research from Harvard Business Review readers, in just one year, the Cloud has created a storm of new followers . The four groups are still there – the enthusiasts, moderates, cautious and non-existent yet interestingly, enthusiasts now dominate the attitudes of adoption as 35% of us place our trust in Cloud computing with 34% moderates following and the cautious 22% and 9% avoiders dragging their feet in the distance.

But it’s not just a case of jumping on the bandwagon and hitching onto the latest technology trend – there are significant reasons for this upward shift in Cloud popularity. Around two thirds of those surveyed revealed that they had gained at least some competitive advantage by trusting the Cloud. In fact, 30% stated this advantage had been ‘significant’, compared to those businesspeople who only marked ‘some’ improvement (33%) and those who only realised ‘a little’ gain (11%) and those who saw ‘none’ whatsoever (8%).

Is The Cloud None Of Your Business?

Thanks to greater flexibility, cost reduction and optimal resource utilisation, anyone and everyone can use the Cloud to their advantage. From the average Joe to a humble SME to huge multinational corporations, there are levels of Cloud computing where we can all dip in and out of to suit our needs and lifestyles.

From the average Joe wanting to free up his desktop and optimise file storage to professional organisations needing the ultimate disaster recovery and backup services to businesses battling against the shift to Big Data, the Cloud is an accessible option for all.

Surprisingly, the most popular Cloud deployment though is private (41%) with hybrid users following closely behind (35%) and public (13%) the smallest chunk of respondents. The biggest win regarding to business value derived from the Cloud was simplification of HR and CRM (37%) followed by better delivery of internal resources (33%) and greater ways for employee collaboration (31%).

Verizon’s Siki Giunta comments that the Cloud, even though feared by some, is not tipped to become the next big thing, it’s already there: ‘This research shows that the Cloud is not just taking a seat at the table; it’s already delivering significant benefits and becoming the norm’.

Giunta advises people to ‘cloud with confidence’: ‘In those early days of Cloud computing, the same concerns came up time and time again: security, compliance and loss of control. But years of hard work by governments, standards bodies, vendors and enterprises themselves have improved transparency, data portability, integration, manageability and performance’

And let’s be honest – what business would shun those benefits?

2020 Vision For SMEs

Four in five SMEs will be fully adapted to the Cloud by 2020. That’s the adoption forecast from software firm Intuit. According to their recent research, 78% of US SMEs would be up-to-speed in six years, as opposed to the current adoption rate of 37%.

Steve King of Emergent Research commented: ‘Today, the US and global economy is going through a series of shifts and changes that are reshaping the economic landscape. IN this new landscape, many people are using the power of the Cloud to re-imagine the idea of small business and create new, innovative models that work for their needs’

And it’s not just overseas businesses that are embracing the Cloud. Back on our home soil, independent research carried out for the Cloud Industry Forum reveal that across 300 UK organisations (53%) already consciously use Cloud computing in some shape or form, again with the private sector leading the way at 56% adoption rate.

Andy Burton, Chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum stated: ‘’Financial benefits are being achieved and do drive further adoption from companies already using the Cloud, but it is the agility given to businesses to deliver new services; access technology quickly; and, to offer solutions that they did not already have that has driven initial adoption’

So perhaps those still shelved away in the cautious or altogether avoiding category should rethink their strategies or face a downpour of even more constant Cloud benefits that they are missing out on left, right and centre?

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Gareth is Director of Digital Marketing at Clever Little Design. His background is in HR, Technology and Marketing, and he is unfortunately both an Everton and a Boston Red Sox fan.