Network neglect turns the Cloud foggy

European businesses run the risk of missing out on the benefits of Cloud by assuming their network can cope.

Research published shows that despite 49% of CIOs intending to increase their investment in cloud technologies over the coming year, many more are jeopardising their ability to realise the full potential of cloud computing as they fail to consider their corporate network as part of their strategy.

The study, conducted by Easynet Global Services, found that only one in five consider their corporate network to be a key concern when moving to the Cloud. The good news is that 43% have identified that they would need to upgrade their network, but of concern is the remaining 57% who believe their network can cope without any investment.

Additionally over a third of respondents told us that they believe Cloud poses a material risk to their business as they cannot guarantee uptime to their end users. Given that the main element to guaranteed availability is a reliable network, Easynet are therefore concerned that CIOs who wish to embrace the Cloud are not thinking through the end-to-end implications of their strategy.

Commenting on the research, Justin Fielder, CTO, Easynet Global Services, said: “Just as retailers know that their ability to fulfil orders from the warehouse to the customer is crucial to their success, so CIOs must realise that the ability to deliver to end-users is a vital element of any cloud strategy. Companies will not get the benefits they expect from Cloud computing unless CIOs consider the entire scenario, not just where their data is stored.”

Those surveyed were nonetheless very clear on the benefits they believed Cloud will bring to their business. Reducing IT spend was the most important consideration for CIOs in their decision-making process, with 55% believing that moving to the Cloud would bring about cost savings. Flexibility and scalability were also considered key advantages.

However, in spite of their focus on spend, less than a third of CIOs were confident that they had a method of measuring the return on investment (ROI) of their cloud projects, showing another clear disconnect between the respondents’ goals and how they plan to go about achieving them.

Fielder added: “Cloud is changing the way our customers do business. It offers them levels of efficiency and flexibility that were previously unimaginable. We know from experience that this potential can only be realised when businesses have a robust, reliable hosting platform coupled with a network that is intrinsically reliable. It might seem obvious, however there is not much point having your applications running in the cloud if you can’t actually access them, but this research suggests the majority of CIOs have yet to appreciate this.”

The research was conducted by Vanson Bourne in April 2011 and 800 CIOs from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Benelux, Spain and Switzerland were surveyed.

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