Unisys: CIOs Leading the Charge to the Cloud

A recent Unisys survey shows that chief information officers, above all others in the enterprise, are the primary drivers of cloud adoption.

Cloud apps

Unisys has released results of a recent survey that indicates that chief information officers (CIOs) are the key drivers in migrating enterprise IT resources to the cloud.

The company surveyed 200 IT and business executives in the United States and 72 percent of them said the CIO is their organization’s primary driver of cloud migration. Others in the so-called C-suite rated much lower than the CIO. Only 6 percent of respondents said their organization’s CEO was the primary driver for cloud adoption, 4 percent said the organization’s board of directors was the key driver and 3 percent said their chief financial officer was leading their move to the cloud.

Ironically, though, survey respondents cited cost savings and gaining faster access to computing capacity as their main reasons for moving to the cloud. Sixty-three percent of respondents cited cost reduction as their key motivation for cloud adoption and 62 percent cited on demand access. Additionally, 44 percent said their move to the cloud was prompted by needing to replace end-of-life technology.

When asked which cloud platforms they used, 46 percent of respondents said they used Microsoft Azure and 42 percent said they were using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Yet, 21 percent said they had not yet moved to the cloud.

For its part, Microsoft technology was also the predominant systems management solution amongst survey respondents. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they use Microsoft Systems Center for IT systems management, more than double the number using the next-most-popular platform, HP OpenView, at 22 percent.

Meanwhile, according to the survey, cloud-based applications are still the exception, not the norm. The survey showed that most companies still keep the majority of their applications on premise, particularly mission critical apps (78 percent) and storage (67 percent).

Still, there is a clear trend of steady migration to the cloud, as 67 percent of respondents said they plan to have at least half of their IT resources in the cloud within the next two years, and 44 percent said they see more than 75 percent of their applications residing in the cloud within two years.

“This study shows that far-sighted CIOs have a clear view of the competitive, operational and economic benefits of cloud computing, and are taking energetic action to realize them for their organizations,” said Steve Nunn, vice president of Cloud and Infrastructure Services at Unisys, in a statement. “At the same time, those decision-makers are clear-eyed about the need to secure both existing IT and new cloud resources in order to protect vital business assets.”

Indeed, security remains a concern among cloud adopters. Forty-two percent of respondents cited security as the most challenging aspect of cloud management, far outweighing all other concerns. The next biggest concern cited among respondents, at 16 percent, was having multiple disconnected platforms.

In addition, survey respondents indicated a heavy reliance on data centers. Forty-six percent of respondents said 75 percent of their IT is in data centers as opposed to public or private cloud environments.

However, respondents were most comfortable with private cloud environments. In terms of forecasted use of the cloud, 68 percent of respondents said they plan to have half or more of their IT resources on private cloud within two years.