A new Cisco Systems Inc. survey has found that only 18 per cent of survey respondents are using a cloud computing service today, with an additional 34 per cent planning to use private or public services in the near future. 

The report, which polled 1,300 IT professionals and 1,300 other workers in countries including Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and the U.S., also found that one in three of responding IT professionals expected to store more than half of their company’s data and apps in private or public clouds within the next three years.

But Canadian organizations looking to gain insight from the study will have to look elsewhere as Canada was not included in the list of 13 polled countries.

When asked why Canada was left out, Cisco said that while the company tries to include Canada whenever possible, it is not practical to include every country in all the global surveys it conducts.

“Not a slight against Canada by any means, but simply a matter of budget and time concern for this report,” said Cisco spokesperson Christine Baczynski in an e-mail.

David Senf, a research director covering infrastructure solutions for IDC Canada Ltd., declined to directly comment on Cisco’s decision to overlook Canada, but did say that many cloud service providers have historically placed less importance on the Canadian marketplace.

“We haven’t seen the same marketing push on cloud as we have in other regions,” he said, noting as one company that hasn’t spent much time north of the border.

He added that a contributing factor to this could be that Canada lacks the abundance of choice in data centre hosting providers that the U.S. market currently offers. This has led to a lack of strong interest from the Canadian public sector and some financial organizations.

As for the study itself and how it compares to IDC Canada’s own research in the field, Senf cited a recent survey from his research firm which polled 400 IT professionals.

The findings showed that about 85 per cent of Canadian companies were using some form of software-as-a-service, 51 per cent were using an infrastructure-as-a-service, and 23 per cent were using a platform-as-a-service.

“If someone is using Google Docs or a cloud storage backup system, each one of those should be classified as a cloud service,” he said, adding that Cisco’s methodology seemed to be skewing the numbers lower than he expected.

As for the private cloud deployments, Senf said traction is much slower given only about three per cent of server shipments in Canada support private cloud operations.

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