Lack of knowledge and confusion is inhibiting adoption of cloud computing

The rate of adoption of cloud computing is directly linked to levels of knowledge about cloud services according to a report published today by COLT, a leading European provider of managed services and business communications. As the understanding of cloud computing increases, the rate of adoption of cloud services could be set for explosive growth with research indicating 77% of CIOs who are familiar with cloud computing are currently evaluating, are in the process of implementing, or have already implemented, cloud computing services.

The COLT report, based on research conducted among CIOs and senior IT decision-makers across 13 European countries by leading research firm Portio, also revealed that overall levels of familiarity with the term are low, with 56% of executives surveyed saying that they are not familiar with cloud computing. The public sector ranks lowest in terms of familiarity with the service, with only 37% of IT decision makers saying they are familiar with cloud computing.

Maggy McClelland, Managing Director of COLT Managed Services said: “This research clearly shows that for many IT decision makers, cloud computing is integral to their strategies, however, it is concerning to see that 56% of respondents have said that they are not familiar with cloud computing. There is a lot of hype around cloud and this can blur the real facts. It falls to trusted advisors to inform CIOs and senior IT decision makers about the potential benefits of cloud computing. The opportunity is clear: exponential growth of cloud services will happen, but only if the industry makes large strides in improving levels of knowledge amongst IT decision makers.”

COLT has adopted and is promoting the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud computing and believes that, central to the job of informing CIOs about cloud computing, is the provision of industry standards. Maggy McClelland says: “Cloud computing is certainly set for growth, but for the industry to develop and retain credibility we must ensure there is cohesiveness in working standards for cloud computing. Standards definition and consensus around what represents good practice will contribute to greater credibility in the market. This will also act as a foundation for Service Providers to etablish simple, transparent messages based on the business benefits of adopting cloud services, rather than the confusion of technical jargon that currently dominates the sector…this is a vital step in bringing cloud computing to maturity.”

COLT’s managed services solutions are built on its infrastructure combining 25,000km of network and 19 data centres across Europe. This footprint enables COLT to take full end-to-end responsibility for the security, availability and continuity of IT processes and computing capability. COLT’s service level agreements are aligned to the customer’s business and tailored towards service delivery, not the technology. The company’s enterprise cloud platform, launched in July 2009 enables COLT to deliver services that give its customers the freedom to choose when and how to take advantage of managed infrastructure and application services as well as increased flexibility to drive greater levels of business efficiency, security and performance.

About COLT

COLT is a leading European provider of business communications. COLT specialises in providing data, voice and managed services to major businesses, SMEs and wholesale customers. COLT operates a 13-country, 25,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 34 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 16,000 buildings and 19 COLT data centres.

COLT Telecom Group S.A. is listed on the London Stock Exchange (COLT). Information about COLT and its services can be found at

About the research

Portio Research surveyed companies that had evaluated and adopted cloud computing, and also from the units that had evaluated, but rejected it. The research design suggested surveying CIOs and their counterparts to gather opinions on various aspects of cloud computing.

The survey was conducted among CIOs and their counterparts in August and September 2009 across 13 countries in Europe.

The result is based on online and telephonic surveys conducted with 352 respondents who indicated involvement in technology purchasing decisions at their organizations. The respondents included 65.3% level one professionals, such as CIO, CTO, S/VP–IT and Head–IT, of IT function reporting directly to the CEO or owner of the company. The remaining 34.7 percent were a mix of level two and three respondents, i.e., professionals reporting to the Head of IT or were a part of the team.

Apart from the two main industries—professional services (51 percent) and the finance sector (27 percent)—interviews were also conducted in media (10 percent) and the public sector, including the education sector (12 percent). A representative split was also maintained across five regions in Europe: Western Europe (32 percent), Southern Europe (32 percent), the UK/Ireland (20 percent), Northern Europe (8 percent) and Central Europe (8 percent). The following countries were covered under the five geographic regions:

• Western Europe – France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands
• Southern Europe – Spain, Portugal and Italy
• Northern Europe – Sweden and Denmark
• Central Europe – Austria and Switzerland
• The UK and Ireland

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