Cloud Computing Delivering on its Promise, but Doubts Still Hold Back Adoption

The Majority of IT Departments now Use Cloud-Based Applications, with Users Reporting Better Security and Lower Costs


Waltham, Mass., July 22, 2010 – Mimecast®, a leading supplier of cloud-based email security, continuity, policy control and archiving, today announced the results of the second annual Mimecast Cloud Adoption Survey, an annual research report examining attitudes to cloud computing services amongst IT decision-makers in UK and US businesses.  The survey, conducted by independent research firm Loudhouse, reveals that a majority of organizations (51 percent) are now using some form of cloud computing service—and the levels of satisfaction amongst those companies is high across the board.  Conversely, companies not yet using cloud services cite concerns around cost and security.

The survey shows that of those businesses using cloud services, 74 percent say that the cloud has alleviated internal resource pressures, 72 percent report an improved end-user experience, 73 percent have managed to reduce their infrastructure costs and 57 percent of say that the cloud has resulted in improved security.  However, not everyone is convinced: 74 percent of IT departments still believe that there is always a trade-off between cost and IT security and 62 percent say that storing data on servers outside of the business is always a risk.

Highlights from the Research

Cloud Services are now the Norm:
- The majority of organizations now use cloud-based services.  The report found that 51 percent of organizations are now using at least one cloud-based application.  Adoption rates amongst US businesses are slightly ahead of those in the UK with 56 percent of respondents using at least one cloud-based application, compared to 50 percent in the UK.  This is a significant rise from the 2009 survey, when just 36 percent of US businesses were using cloud services.

- Two thirds of businesses are considering adopting cloud computing.  Encouragingly for vendors, 66 percent are now considering adopting cloud-based applications in the future.  Again, US businesses are ahead of the UK in their attitudes to the cloud with 70 percent considering cloud services, compared to 60 percent in the UK.

- Email, security and storage are the most popular cloud services.  62 percent of the organizations that use cloud computing are using a cloud-based email application.  Security and storage are the next most popular, used by 52 percent and 50 percent of organizations with at least one cloud-based service respectively.  Email services are most popular with mid-size businesses (250-1,000 employees), with 70 percent of these organizations using the cloud to support this function.  Smaller businesses (under 250 employees) are most likely to use the cloud for security services, with larger enterprises (over 1,000 employees) most likely to make use of cloud storage services.

Cloud Attitudes are Split Between the ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-Nots’:
- Existing cloud users are satisfied.  Security is not considered to be an issue by existing cloud users: 57 percent say that moving data to the cloud has resulted in better security, with 58 percent saying it has given them better control of their data.  Among current cloud users, 73 percent say it has reduced the cost of their IT infrastructure and 74 percent say it has alleviated the internal resource pressures upon the department.

- Security fears are still a barrier.  Three quarters (74 percent) of IT departments agreed with the statement ‘there is always a trade-off between cost and IT security,’ suggesting that many organizations feel cloud solutions are less secure than more expensive on-premise alternatives, simply due to their lesser cost.  Storing data on servers outside of the business was also seen as a significant security risk by 62 percent.

- IT is concerned that adopting cloud will not initially result in cost savings.  58 percent of respondents thought that replacing legacy IT solutions will almost always cost more than the benefits of new IT.

- Cloud concerns stem from a lack of clarity.  One reason for the negative perceptions of cloud services among non-users seems to be a lack of clear communication from the industry itself.  54 percent of respondents said the potential benefits of cloud delivery models are overstated by the IT industry.

Supporting Quotes

“It is great to see that cloud computing has now been embraced by the majority of organizations,” commented Peter Bauer, CEO and co-founder of Mimecast.  “The fact that more than 50 percent of businesses are now using cloud-based applications – with two thirds currently considering adopting them – is hugely encouraging for the industry and a clear indication that IT is increasingly willing to innovate in order to get better value for money, increased reliability and greater control  of their data.”

“The research shows that there is a clear divide within the IT industry on the issue of cloud computing,” commented Peter Bauer, CEO and co-founder of Mimecast.  “While those organizations that have embraced cloud services are clearly reaping the rewards, there are still a number who are put off by the ‘cloud myths’ around data security and the cost of replacing legacy IT.  It is now up to cloud vendors to educate businesses and end users to ensure that these concerns do not overshadow the huge potential cost, security and performance benefits that cloud computing can bring.”

About the Research
The Mimecast Cloud Adoption Survey was carried out by Loudhouse Research on behalf of Mimecast in June 2010.  The survey polled over 500 IT professionals from a range of businesses and organizations based in the UK and USA.  The full report can be downloaded here: http://www.mimecast.com/barometerresearch2010.

About Mimecast
Mimecast (www.mimecast.com) delivers SaaS-based enterprise email management including archiving, discovery, continuity, security and policy.  By unifying disparate and fragmented email environments into one holistic solution that is always available from the cloud, Mimecast minimizes risk and reduces cost and complexity, while providing total end-to-end control of email.  Founded in the United Kingdom in 2003, Mimecast serves approximately 3,000 customers worldwide and has offices in Europe, North America, Africa, the Middle East and the Channel Islands.

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