While widespread knowledge of cloud computing benefits has led most to believe that all businesses today live in the cloud, many firms are still in the early stages of adopting the technology, according to a Financial Force-sponsored survey of nearly 150 IT pros.
The survey, conducted by ThinkJar and Beagle Research Group, found that 40 percent of survey respondents admitted to using more than four cloud applications at a time, leading to poor internal communication and workflows.
"The most surprising finding from the survey was that while we know there's still a long way to go for companies to fully and strategically embrace the cloud, the results showed most organizations are a lot further off than even we realized," Kevin Roberts, director of platform technology at FinancialForce, told eWEEK. "If you add up the numbers in the survey, over 85 percent of companies are using two or more cloud applications to run their business—most use even more."
The research also indicated that, unchecked by IT, many business units buy cloud solutions without much thought as to how multiple systems will share data.
"In addition to the obvious budget constraints, some additional hurdles that small businesses face when deploying cloud solutions include failure to look at their deployments strategically," Roberts said.
Many organizations, not just small businesses, do not look at their cloud solutions in one big picture, he explained.
"As corroborated in the research, some departments often fail to align themselves with IT," Roberts noted. "They select a solution that works for them, without thinking about how it might benefit, or harm, other departments. IT and business departments must collaborate more effectively to fully realize the benefits of cloud adoption."
The top issues facing cloud app customers today include capped or reduced IT budgets (61 percent), slow performance (50 percent) and application accessibility (46 percent).
In addition, more than half (54 percent) of respondents said that implementing cloud applications has helped improve the quality of management information within their organizations.
"Every business is going to have a unique cloud strategy that works for them, but this survey has proven that we're still at the beginning stages of cloud adoption. In the near future, companies are going to become more educated on the benefits of the cloud and start thinking a bit more strategically when selecting and deploying apps," Roberts said.
"They are going to, we hope, start thinking about their application ecosystem as one unit that can work together versus selecting necessary apps stitched together across multiple platforms," he continued." We also see IT becoming more and more involved in these business decisions as companies continue to modernize their approach."