Cloud has been, and remains, the dominant topic in the 2011 IT dialogue. Commentators are progressing beyond vague estimates of massive future adoption, and beginning to hone in on the benefits that cloud delivers in key areas like mobility and ability. For its part, IT in Canada research arm IT Market Dynamics continues to urge IT managers to evaluate four platform options – physical, virtual, private cloud, and public cloud – whenever they are planning new application releases, or significant upgrades.
In April, ITMD released our first “Cloud Index,” illustrating the pace of cloud adoption in Canada. Based on a survey of 252 Canadian managers, the Q1 Canadian Cloud Index found that on a scale of 1-100, Canadian cloud adoption was at 32.6: while few respondents had built cloud-centric infrastructures, nearly 40% reported that they had initiated some level of cloud activity, and many are combining cloud-delivered services with traditional IT capabilities.
We are now in a position to update our Index – and we find that with the weather, the cloud temperature is edging up. Based on a total of 510 surveys, we now have a Cloud Index temperature of 35.5°. While a small part of this (about .6°) is caused by a re-weighting of company size data based on our 2011 Canadian Technology Demand Model forecast, most of the increase is due to an uptick in the number of firms that are combining cloud and traditional IT services within their organization – and a reducing in the numbers that are merely planning to use cloud or who have no plans to being the cloud journey. It seems that Canadian firms are beginning to find new ways of deploying cloud-based solutions.
Peter Doulas, director, server and cloud platform business group at Microsoft Canada, certainly agrees that expanding appetite for cloud solutions is driving customers to begin looking at new ways to use the cloud. “We are seeing significant interest within SMB in moving their productivity solutions to the Cloud – e-mail, collaboration, and CRM,” he said in an interview, adding that SMBs who have made this move have realized cost savings that allow them “to reinvest in their core competency” – in the products and processes that are essential to their business success.