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'Culture' Biggest Hurdle To Cloud Computing

Business decision makers don't understand the potential value of private clouds, said 76% of surveyed IT executives.
Most IT executives are sold on the benefits of cloud computing, but many of their colleagues who are business decision makers still need convincing on the value of the technology, according to a survey released Monday.

A total of 28% of IT execs are planning to deploy private computing clouds by the end of 2009, according to the survey results.

The most-cited benefit (41%) of private cloud computing is its perceived ability to improve efficiency. Other benefits mentioned were: "resource scalability," cited by 18%; "cutting costs," 17%; "experimenting with cloud computing," 15%; and "improving IT responsiveness," 9%.

The survey, conducted by grid and cloud provider Platform Computing, detected a major stumbling block for deployment: 76% of the IT executives believe that business decision makers don't understand the potential value of private clouds.

"IT executives are clearly convinced about the efficiencies and cost savings that private clouds will deliver," said Randy Clark, Platform Computing's chief marketing officer, in a statement. "but, as the research highlights, senior business decision makers are not yet on board. If enterprises are to reap the full benefits of private clouds, the IT function will evolve to become a business service partner to the business."

Organizational culture hurdles were cited by 37% of the IT respondents who favor deploying cloud computing applications quickly. Other barriers to quick implementation cited by the IT execs were "complexity of managing," 26%; "security," 21%; "upfront costs," 8%; and "application software licensing," 8%.

With 67% of the polled IT executives saying they plan to run cloud simulation and modeling applications, the respondents said their top application choices would be Web services and business analytics.

Platform Computing interviewed 103 IT executives at the International Supercomputing Conference in June.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on IBM's cloud computing strategy. Download the report here (registration required).