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April 15, 2011

European Businesses Adopting Cloud Computing to Improve Business Agility and Save Cost

Cloud computing is helping organizations provide their employees instant access to information irrespective of the place they are. Brocade’s (News - Alert) new research survey in association with the Cloud Industry Forum reveals that 48 percent of the businesses in Europe are already actively using cloud architectures while 31 percent are likely to adopt a distributed cloud computing architecture within the next year.

Around 85 percent of respondents companies that have already adopted the cloud stated that they plan to expand their cloud deployments in the next 12 months in order to manage crucial business processes like data backup and retrieval.

In a release, Alberto Soto, vice president of EMEA at Brocade, said that, “The cloud has been in the media spotlight for several years, and many businesses see it as the magic answer to a wide range of operational challenges. However, unless a well-considered IT strategy is in place, the cloud can cause more problems than it solves. Today, the way we work is very different than it was 10, or even five years ago.”

He continued, “The networks of that period were not designed to be cloud-optimized, so expecting them to cope with today's needs is doomed to fail. Our research suggests that companies are beginning to recognize this and that cloud-based strategies are being driven from within the IT department. Addressing the commercial needs of the business, IT leaders can develop a strategic blueprint for a truly cloud-optimized network, therefore ensuring a successful deployment.”

Over half of survey respondents quoted business agility as the main reason for adopting cloud computing. Among the secondary reasons for adopting cloud computing, around 16 percent of the respondents stated operational cost-saving while 14 percent of the respondents stated capital cost-saving.

According to the Brocade research, 94 percent of the companies already using cloud services are pleased with the results; less than 31 percent of the companies not currently using cloud services plan to do so in the next year; and only 12 percent of the respondents were not interested in migrating to the cloud. The current top three cloud-based applications are data backup, e-mail management, and disaster recovery. Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents have made the cloud a part of their IT strategy.

Andy Burton, chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum, said that, “Over recent years the market has been primarily focusing on the cost savings afforded by cloud migration. This research proves, whilst financial benefits are achieved and do drive further investment from companies already using the cloud, it is the agility given to businesses (to deliver new services, access technology quickly and to offer solutions that they did not already have) that has driven initial adoption. This is the true value of the cloud.”

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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