Global buyers of cloud applications cite cost, innovation and agility as reasons for adoption, according to a recent survey by Gartner.
"The most commonly cited reasons the survey found for deploying SaaS were for development and testing production/mission-critical workloads," says Joanne Correia, research vice president, Gartner.
"We've seen a real transition from use cases in previous surveys where early SaaS adoption focused on smaller pilot projects.
“Today, the projects are mission-critical and production grade. This is an affirmation that more businesses are comfortable with cloud deployments beyond the front office running sales force automation (SFA) and email."
Forty-four percent of survey respondents, across 10 countries including Australia, reported that overall cost reduction continues to dominate as the main reason for investment.
Data by role..
However, when the data is organised by role, the cloud adoption survey indicates that "cost reduction" rated highest for the more junior IT roles (IT staff and IT managers).
Senior business executives (excluding CIOs) also rated "cost reduction" as a key benefit, but not at the same rate as the IT staff while the CIO and IT director roles all rated "cloud is a modern approach," "innovation" and "operational agility" as top drivers.
Furthermore, the senior IT leaders also rated "business advantage" significantly higher than junior IT roles.
As a result Correia believes the conclusion is that CIOs are focused on using the cloud to establish a “modern, innovative IT environment” with operational agility and business advantage as key outcomes whereas business leaders (non-IT) still see the cloud as a means to save costs and may not yet have full appreciation for the business benefits or strategic opportunity of using cloud services.
Regardless of the reason of implementing cloud, Gartner advises that public cloud is not always the most appropriate model for all use cases within companies.
The decision to deploy SaaS-based applications within an enterprise depends on the business-criticality of the solution, as well as the organisation's geography, business agility, usage scenario and IT architecture.
Therefore, Gartner believes few organisations will completely migrate to SaaS and will live with a mix of SaaS and traditional on-premises application deployment models, with a focus on integration and migration between different deployment models.
The survey found that security, privacy and fear of government snooping remain leading concerns for respondents (especially outside of the U.S.) that do not consider public cloud-based models. Although protection methods are continually upgraded and providers' position public cloud services as secure, concerns remain.
"Data loss, data breaches, unsecure application programming interfaces (APIs) and shared technology in a multitenant environment are just a few of the concerns expressed by respondents tackling the option of using public cloud," adds Laurie Wurster, research director, Gartner.
"In addition, recent concerns of government snooping in the name of anti-terrorism and general privacy issues contribute to the lack of public cloud adoption."