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Microsoft Survey: Top 10 List of The Most Cloud-friendly U.S. Cities

Boston Tops The List of The Most Cloud-friendly U.S. Cities

A newly published survey by Microsoft Corp. unveils the top 10 “cloud-friendly” cities across the United States, with Boston leading the pack among enterprise-size companies while Washington D.C. ranks first based on responses by managers at small and medium-sized businesses.

The survey called “Cloud Computing as an Engine of Growth Survey” aims to better understand IT decision-makers across multiple industries, and the rankings are based on the responses by 2,000 IT decision makers nationwide who discussed how they are adopting and using cloud computing.

The key findings of the study are the following:

– 24 percent of those surveyed used the cloud to help start a new line of business;
– 68 percent in the financial services of respondents said they have been asked to find ways for their companies to save money on the IT side;
– 34 percent in professional services, and 33 percent in retail and hospitality, believe cloud computing is an opportunity for the IT department to be more strategic;
– 71 percent in manufacturing said their IT departments must address the business requirement to work anywhere at any time in the next year;
– 33 percent in professional services said their IT departments must find new ways to enable and support their company’s growing workforce.

I think the study is incredibly interesting, and it shows business and IT growth is a key output of the cloud,” Scott Woodgate, a director in Microsoft’s corporate account segment, which serves mid-market businesses, said in a press release. “For IT professionals, it’s clear that becoming skilled in the cloud is an important call to action. For businesses, the cloud really empowers growth. Because of the nature of the cloud, you can take more risks and innovate at a much lower cost,” he added.

Most companies rely on their partners to introduce them to the cloud and 41 percent of Enterprise companies have at least one cloud project under way. Small and medium-sized companies are less active in the cloud with only 16 percent conducting a cloud-based project. The larger companies are actively hiring staff experienced in Cloud computing, the survey said.

“For example, almost two-thirds of enterprise IT decision makers have hired or are planning on hiring vendors to help understand and deploy the cloud,” Woodgate said. “And 21 percent of IT decision makers are looking to hire new staff with cloud experience,” he added.

Slightly over 50 percent of Enterprise respondents believe that Cloud Computing is a lasting trend will have significant impact on the IT industries.

“The skill set of IT workers is changing, and there is plenty of opportunity for IT directly in the context of the cloud. Also, the value proposition of IT is changing. They currently spend a lot of time keeping the lights on. I think with the cloud, they’ll be able to spend less time on that and more time on moving the overall business forward,” Woodgate concluded.

Overall, Boston tops the ladder ranking first and fifth among enterprises and SMBs, followed by San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, Dallas, Philadelphia, Los Angeles (Orange County) and Atlanta.

Enterprise Company Ranking

Rank    City    Index

1    Boston    128.1

2    New York    127.2

3    Dallas    122.7

4    San Francisco    121.5

5    Atlanta    120.9

6    Washington D.C.    120.8

7    Philadelphia    116.8

8    Los Angeles/Orange County    112.8

9    Chicago    108.9

10    Detroit    108.1

SMB Company Ranking

Rank    City    Index

1    Washington D.C.    94.6

2    San Francisco    93.7

3    Philadelphia    88.4

4    Los Angeles/ Orange County    83.6

5    Boston    82.2

6    Dallas    81.8

7    Atlanta    80.9

8    Detroit    80.4

9    Chicago    75.2

10    New York    69.9

Rankings were created from a combination of responses at specific attitudinal and usage questions, including having an opinion, having a positive opinion, a non-cynical attitude about cloud computing, number of projects in the works and current use for projects/applications.

By Kiril Kirilov

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