Gartner Survey Says CIOs Finally Get Cloud

Gartner just released a survey of over 2,000 CIOs representing more than $160 billion in spending, across 50 countries and 38 industries. Cloud computing was a leader on the list of CIO’s 2011 technical priorities. Why cloud? For trust, money, and a whole bunch of other reasons. (See our previous post that identifies 7 benefits of SaaS.)

Supply chain data management by cloud is not a new concept. It makes sense, because a supply chain involves different locations, different timezones and uniquely permissioned auditors. Since almost everything in a company that makes anything at all has a complicated supply chain, it was only a matter of time before the average enterprise Information Officer would catch onto the cloud. Why now?

Trust. In addition to selecting cloud computing as a top priority, CIOs responding to the Gartner survey expected to adopt new cloud services quickly, reported the esteemed tech journal CMSWire. Currently, only 3% of organizations operate most of their IT in the cloud or on a software as a service (SaaS) platform. Over the next four years, 43% of CIOs want to transition to a cloud dominated infrastructure.

Look out, cloud technology providers!

The Gartner survey indicates that cloud computing is moving into the mainstream. Cost savings and rapid technology adoption that cloud offers are two very compelling motivations for this. Also, most people are using the cloud now in their private lives (banking, social networks, remote desktop access, email accounts, SaaS services…) which has boosted general trust in the paradigm and product lines.

Money. CIOs expect cloud technologies to liberate 35% to 50% of infrastructure and operational resources.Fifty percent  is a very high number. Heck, 35% is a high number. According the the Gartner IT survey, CIOs’ 2011 business priorities include:

  • Reducing enterprise costs
  • Improving business processes
  • Improving operations
  • * Attracting and retaining new customers.

Cloud technology surely empowers three out of four initiatives listed there. (As for the other, an argument could be made that cloud technology helps with attracting and retaining new customers, but it would be an argument, not a fact.)

Adoption. As CMSWire aptly reported in its story on cloud technology: The Gartner survey suggests that IT will be changing dramatically over the next few years. IT changes will be driven by technology that was recently considered “too cutting edge” for wide-spread adoption. CIOs will be consistently challenged with supporting growth while reducing cost and improving operational efficiency. Cloud technology answers the challenge.

Cloud, ASP, SaaS, on-demand, Web-based and Online. Cloud solutions for supply-chain management are usually called SaaS, some are still called ASP. Other terms include on-demand, web-based, and online applications. While a die-hard IT director will argue that all these things are not actually, pedantically “cloud,” for all intents and purposes, they are.

Any application served up over the Internet is what people and journalists mean when they say “cloud.” And we all have to get used to it. And here at this blog, we’re okay with that. Apparently CIOs talking to Gartner are too.

To keep up, we’ll spend more time watching the clouds.