Canadian enterprises are slowly warming to cloud computing, according to a study funded by a major cloud provider.
Some 31 per cent of respondents said their company already combines cloud and hosting services, the report done by research firm IDC Canada for Telus Corp. found.
About 55 per cent of firms use third-party hosting services.
“The results are encouraging and showing a good trend both in adoption and openness” to cloud, said Adi Kabazo, Telus’ manager of products and services, said in an interview.
However, the study – which questioned some 250 business and IT officials of large organizations, also found that 63 per cent of respondents believe they don’t know enough about public cloud to make informed decisions on where or how to use it.
As last year, those whose organizations don’t use public cloud services said security was their greatest concern (31 per cent of respondents) and compliance (31 per cent).
Kabazo said this “lack of knowledge” about cloud computing is keeping organizations from making informed decisions, which he said is a key barrier to adoption.
Still, in its report IDC said it believes there has been an improvement in understanding among Canadian enterprises compared to last year.
The report also notes there’s a gap – perhaps not unexpected – between the attitudes of those who work for organizations that use public cloud services and those who don’t.
Three quarters of those with experience found cloud easy to use and integrate with existing technologies.
Half of users said their organization was able to address service level and data residency issues.
In fact, 59 per cent of those whose organizations use cloud said it was a catalyst for improving data compliance, while 56 per cent said it improved security.
In accounting for the change in attitude of some over the past year over worries about cloud and data security, IDC suggests that as companies improve internal processes before contracting out services to third parties – for hosting, for example – they are increasing their awareness of the risks and benefits.
Another finding of the survey is that those whose companies are using public cloud services believe the primary advantage of cloud is improved data governance. Second was reducing capital expenditures. Saving money was seventh on the list.
Over the next four years IDC Canada believes spending on cloud services – which includes everything from CRM applications to infrastructure as a service — will grow by 25 per cent. External hosting will grow by 9.6 per cent.
“Nobody’s saying cloud is the silver bullet and the only way to go,” says Kabazo, “but it’s one more arrow in the quiver, one more approach you can take to integrate into your IT delivery.”