CIO and head of IT, not CEO, most likely to have final say on cloud adoption


Cloud usage is rocketing amongst UK business users – but the final decision making falls to the head of IT or the chief information officer in almost three in five (59%) cases, according to latest research.

The research, from cloud hosting provider Cobweb Solutions, shows more organisations are turning to cloud for all their business needs, with UK cloud penetration reaching a high of 84%.

78% of businesses are using more than one cloud-based service, figures which correlate with a recent Forrester survey showing 84% of UK companies rely on two or more cloud providers, compared to Singapore (76%) and the US (62%). Half of respondents expect to eventually move their entire IT estate to the cloud.

Despite the issues with security, 99% of respondents have never experienced a breach of security when using a cloud service. The applications most likely to be stored in specific locations are accounting and finance (49%), data backup and disaster recovery (43%) and data storage (43%). 70% of respondents cited concerns over data security when moving to the cloud, with 61% concerned over data privacy.

Yet the issue over who has final say over cloud implementations is a worry for Cobweb, who argues businesses may be failing to see the “holistic potential of integrated cloud solutions”, instead just seeing cloud computing as a new delivery mechanism for software.

“Using a cloud computing solution can fundamentally enhance the way an organisation does business,” Ash Patel, Cobweb director of business transformation said in a statement, adding: “It offers the liberating ability to build entirely new services that customers and partners can easily access and make part of their daily lives.

“Making best use of this liberating technology is a question not solely for the IT team, but for the whole board of directors who can use the cloud to shape a new and more effective way of doing business.”

Do you agree with this analysis?

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Mark Zetter
20 Jul 2015, 2:10 a.m.

Great article. It points out some often overlooked aspects of decision-making at C-Levels. Purchasing cloud services is a complex decision, typically with a longer sales cycle than, say, buying the latest flat screen TV.

There's also usually more than one key decision maker with any complex purchase.

The risks of failing to make successful decisions for buyers when selecting cloud services can be high, including reputation among peers, career advancement and loss of employment.

Add to this pricing for cloud services can be dependent on who the buyer is plus, price is determined on the basis of numerous factors and specifications. But even the best suited, most expensive systems can still be vulnerable to attack. Wired investigative reporter @KimZetter is speaking on security of data and infrastructure in an upcoming Webinar: (Disclosure: Kim is my sister)

Mark Zetter


3 Aug 2015, 10:09 a.m.

Cloud can be transformational and disruptive for an organisation and is being adopted by varying people. SaaS for example is often appearing through Shadow IT with a departmental decision and payment (sometimes on credit card) surpassing even the IT dept.

With PaaS and IaaS it is likely that the CIO and head of IT is the conduit, but SaaS and mobile apps are often finding their way into an organisation through osmosis and non IT staff.


4 Aug 2015, 12:45 a.m.

It all starts w/the business case. If one cannot be made by someone who understands the technology as well as the business, it's just another shinny object w/what is widely perceived as considerable associated risk. Also, just because you haven't detected a hack doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Historically speaking, those most successful hacks aren't detected for some time, if ever.