As business adoption continues to grow, cloud computing and cloud-based systems have again been selected as major technology trends for 2015. Gartner’s recent industry overview focused on how mobile adoption and the need to maintain services and applications across multiple systems will drive more businesses toward cloud-based products. Meanwhile, as analysts continue to predict a $200 billion market for public cloud computing within the next five years, business leaders have begun to embrace cloud services for reasons that extend well beyond promised information technology (IT) cost savings.
In its annual cloud survey of business executives, consultants at KPMG examined why organizations move to the cloud, and even as nearly half cited cost effectiveness, the need to meet the demands of a mobile workplace comes in as a close second. Of IT decision makers surveyed, 42% say that mobile considerations drive the cloud conversion—a jump of nearly 30 points since 2012. The two biggest factors behind mobile adoption are increased productivity and employee satisfaction. These go hand-in-hand as employees are able to use their mobile devices to access their work systems and be productive while on the go.
Of course, costs continue to be a factor in the decision to move processes to the cloud. Of the executives surveyed, 70% noted reduced IT costs as a key business improvement, and many discussed how cloud processing decreases both computing infrastructure expenditures and the pace of replacing legacy technologies.
Still, despite the prevalence of cloud computing and the expected market growth, business leaders see risks involved in moving data, applications, and systems to third-party providers. More than 80% of these business leaders told KPMG that security and data privacy are important considerations when assessing cloud providers, and over half see data loss and privacy breaches as key challenges or barriers to moving to the cloud. Cloud providers recognize these obstacles, perceived or otherwise, and have been working aggressively to address security concerns. The numbers bear out these efforts, too—two years ago, over 80% viewed data loss and privacy breaches as the barriers to cloud implementation.
Interestingly, 46% are focused on legal and regulatory compliance obstacles, and many in heavily regulated industries, including finance and healthcare, have been slower to embrace cloud computing as regulatory views on aspects of data security, privacy, and oversight of cloud services have yet to be clarified.
As cloud offerings gain even more traction in the business sphere, IT professionals should conduct proper due diligence, and contractual provisions regarding cybersecurity that we have highlighted in the past will provide adequate protections and remedies should something go wrong.