You will be aware that we have been running a survey along with “Horses for Sources” of industry attitudes to Cloud Computing. We received 1053 responses – an impressive sample of the business community. While I have yet to fully analyse the results HfS have done some initial sifting as shown in the following graph from their site:
As Phil writes in his Blog this suggest that business function leaders are more impressed with Cloud and are involved in driving its adoption – marketing to IT functions is less likely to impress than targetting business executives. Unsurprisingly it seems clear that Cloud is seen as driving down costs (50+% suggest this appeals to a great extent”) but I was most struck by the number who strongly believe it will facilitate virtual/distributed organizations (also around 50%).
This is important because it suggests they believe Cloud computing offers the chance for organisational change – not just replication of existing functions or apps. Further it is supported by Business Executives who (nearly 50% of them) belived it will “enable us to focus on transforming out business”.
Cloud, in my view, offers the chance to do things differently not just cheaply. It offers the chance for new forms of organisation to challenge existing businesses. In particular it offers the chance for businesses to collaborate in new ways. SalesForce for example allow their users to open up specific parts of their SalesForce offering to business partners simply and easily allowing closer collaboration (something which would have required massive EDI investment a few years ago). Who knows what new forms of business this technical facility, and business executive desire will open up… One might imagine “clouds” of nimble agile small enterprises collaborating using Cloud systems to take on the big corporates. Such businesses nimbleness and close integration of systems (through the cloud) might be a potent mix.