A new survey of senior financial executives at U.S. companies reveals that cloud computing is likely to have a significant impact on their businesses in the very near future.
The study by CFO Research, and sponsored by Google, shows that three quarters (76 percent) of those polled believe a solid cloud computing strategy will be important for their company’s success within the next 12 to 18 months. While not every company plans to adopt cloud computing in the near future, those that have are already seeing positive results. A majority of finance executives say that their company’s largest cloud computing project resulted in cost reductions that aligned with their expectations for hardware-related costs (71 percent say savings met or exceeded expectations); costs related to system backup and data recovery (66 percent); software-related costs (66 percent); and IT labor costs (59 percent).
Those same executives see more savings ahead: Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) say that a complete implementation of cloud technology would reduce their companies' operational costs by up to 20 percent. An additional 15 percent anticipate even greater savings.
The cloud also is bound to make IT departments better, the survey indicates.
“Finance executives see the cloud as means of improving IT performance," explained Matt Surka, research editor at CFO Research. “The cloud certainly offers cost savings, but finance executives are most interested in using the cloud to redirect IT resources to high-value activities — not strip resources out of IT."
Other cloud benefits, the exec say, include the capacity to increase productivity for all employees. Eighty-one percent of respondents say that a complete implementation of cloud-based systems would improve employee productivity throughout the company. Thirty percent of respondents at companies with cloud-based systems say that the cloud exceeded their expectations for improving employee mobility, in addition to 47 percent who say that their expectations for greater employee mobility were met. Only 9 percent say that the cloud fell short of expectations in this respect..
The study was based on 310 electronic survey responses. The execs polled work for companies in a broad range of company segments.