Study shows differences between cloud users and non-users

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

A cornerstone study into cloud computing in the UK has revealed the key difference in opinion between cloud users and non-cloud users.

The study, from Raconteur Media and written by Mike O’Driscoll entitled ‘Navigating the Cloud’, had a relatively small survey base – just under 250 completed at least part of the survey – but of that number, there was a lot of clout – 84% saw themselves as the key IT decision maker.

Again, software as a service (SaaS) proved itself to be the most mature cloud market. 81% of respondents currently use SaaS, compared to 45% for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and 38% for platform as a service (PaaS). Crucially, only 5% of respondents had no plans to use SaaS in their company.

This correlates with research from Symform which showed that SaaS “continued to be the entryway” for cloud platforms.

The survey showed less of a grasp for PaaS, however, where 48% of Symform respondents stated they weren’t going to use PaaS in the next 12 months. Recent Gartner research predicted that PaaS would hit $1.2bn as a global market by the end of this year, and Ovum called PaaS “the next kid on the cloud block” in its latest research note.  

One of the intriguing takeaways related to concerns when selecting a cloud provider. For non-users, the biggest concern related to interoperability and portability; yet for users, the biggest concern remains security.

Vendor lock-in, traditionally perceived to be a struggle for cloud, was considered the smallest concern for non-cloud users. Could this perhaps be down to a lack of knowledge? It was only the fourth biggest concern for cloud users, behind security, compliance and cost.

Security was the number two risk for non-users; yet for cloud users interoperability was the least important factor, which certainly suggests a certain discrepancy between users and non-users.

Yet there were definite similarities between non-users and users when asked about priorities when selecting a cloud provider.

Respondents had to rank each element out of five, and the report collated the mean scores.

In both cases security was the number one thought, but it was more important to non users (5.00) than users (4.77).

The next most important facets were exactly the same for both cloud users and non-users; privacy (4.71 users, 4.82 non-users); support from supplier (4.26 users, 4.52 non-users) and scalability (4.32 users, 4.52 non-users). Intriguingly, the responses were similar yet the numbers from cloud-users were lower.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, credit card information was least likely to be hosted on the cloud. 48% of non-users polled said they would be happy to host the data on a private cloud, and 48% said they weren’t prepared to put the data on any cloud. Alternately, 64% of cloud users didn’t want to host cloud data on any cloud.

The full research can be found here. Does this correlate with current cloud trends?

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