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Global Survey Reveals Explosion Of Cloud Services Driving Cloud Sprawl

Cloud services are becoming more mainstream, which is causing growing pains for many companies, according to Avanade research
SEATTLE – June 07, 2011 – Avanade, a business technology services provider, today announced the results of a global survey, which reveals the rapid growth in the use of public cloud services. Cloud services are becoming more mainstream, which is causing growing pains for many companies. One in five executives says it’s impossible to manage the disparate cloud services within their organization, while another 60 percent are worried about cloud sprawl – the unmanaged adoption of public cloud services within an organization.

Despite these challenges, the survey shows cloud computing is maturing in the enterprise as CIOs increasingly look to cloud services to achieve business benefits, such as improved flexibility, reduced costs and helping to speed time to market.

“As is true with many forms of technology innovation, consumer technology often has a way of secretly creeping into the enterprise,” said Tyson Hartman, global chief technology officer at Avanade. “Today, public cloud services are in a similar situation. The barrier to entry for many cloud capabilities continues to lower and our research shows some are so easy to adopt, they are outpacing the ability of IT leaders to manage them effectively.”

One in five respondents says they have personally purchased a cloud service without the IT department’s knowledge. While 60 percent of companies report they have policies in place that prohibit such actions, respondents say there are no real deterrents for purchasing cloud services by stealth. In fact, 29 percent report there are no ramifications whatsoever while another 48 percent say it is little more than a warning.

The survey also reveals a communication chasm. One-quarter of executives report they don’t have open communication with the departments and business unit leaders that may be provisioning their own cloud services.

“While policy is a place to start, managing cloud sprawl requires a real cooperation and dialogue between CIOs and their business counterparts,” said Hartman. “It’s important that companies define a user-centric cloud strategy. With that strategy in hand, it’s much easier to have an open dialogue in discovering what cloud services are already being used, where the gaps are and what new technologies the company should leverage to drive business value.”

In terms of overall cloud computing adoption, the survey found 74 percent of companies are using some form of cloud services today – a 25 percent growth in adoption since Avanade’s September 2009 survey. Of those organizations that have yet to implement cloud, three-quarters say it’s on the horizon.

With this growth in adoption also emerged three signs cloud computing is maturing:

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