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Study: Cloud Computing Enticing Repeat Customers

As cloud computing continues to gain traction, a recent survey by Mimecast found that companies that move applications to the cloud are coming back for more.

The survey of 565 IT decision makers found that 36 percent are currently using cloud-based services while 64 percent said they are not using cloud computing. More telling, however, is that of that 36 percent of companies using cloud-based services and applications, 70 percent said they have plans to move additional applications into the cloud.

"People are continuing to use the Web and they're going back to it," Mary Kay Roberto, Mimecast senior vice president and general manager, said of the survey results.

Currently, education, professional and legal services, and retail are the industries where cloud computing are gaining the most traction. Eighty-eight percent of education respondents using the cloud said they plan to move more apps, while 81 percent of professional and legal organizations and 78 percent of retail organizations already with cloud computing solutions said the same.

As solution providers investigate cloud computing as a potential revenue generator, the Mimecast survey illustrates that VARs can re-engage customers as they move more applications to the cloud.

And while cloud computing is still in its "nascent" stage, Roberto said that the survey found significant growth is looming. While 64 percent of respondents currently don't utilize cloud-based services and applications, 62 percent are considering moving to a cloud-based model.

"It's getting ready to go into adolescence and move beyond just the early adopters," Roberto said.

Among the respondents who have already adopted cloud computing, the most popular applications are e-mail, with 33 percent adoption, and CRM, with 26 percent adoption.

Meanwhile, the top three industries adopting cloud computing were technology, with 53 percent, financial services, with 40 percent and legal, with 37 percent. The slowest industry to latch on to cloud computing is government, with only 19 percent adopting cloud-based services, the survey found.

The survey also revealed that security remains the biggest factor hindering cloud computing adoption. Overall, 46 percent of respondents said security was their main reason for not moving forward with cloud-based applications and 39 percent said "loss of control" has prevented them from adopting a cloud model. Moreover, 32 percent cited their existing infrastructure investments were slowing their move to the cloud, and 31 percent said performance worries had them avoiding cloud computing.

Despite the fears, the Mimecast study found that cost savings is still the main driver for companies to adopt cloud computing. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents said cost savings was the biggest benefit of cloud computing, while 49 percent said agility and scalability were key drivers, and 39 percent said efficiency was a strong motivator. Streamlined administration and reliability were also major considerations in moving to a cloud model with 36 percent and 31 percent of respondents, respectively, citing them as benefits of a cloud computing model.

Roberto said the survey shows that cloud computing is indeed ready to mature and evolve, but there are still some unanswered questions.

"There's still a lot of room; it's so vast and there are so many varieties," she said. "But it is for real and does add value. There is more maturity coming."

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