Four in five enterprises say there is more to cloud than ROI

Claranet research report highlights need to calculate wider business benefits of cloud adoption

Less than 20 per cent of respondents say ROI calculations are the primary way to support the case for cloud adoption, according to new independent research from managed services provider Claranet.

The research also found that three quarters (73 per cent) of organisations believe that cost-based ROI is only one factor in their decision to migrate their IT into the cloud. The findings raise the important question of which other benefits organisations are considering, and whether decision-makers are calculating the ROI of these wider benefits to their business as a whole.

The report, The ROI for Adopting Cloud, is based on Claranet’s annual survey of cloud adoption and trends, which polled 250 senior IT decision-makers across a range of small and medium-sized businesses, enterprises and public sector organisations.

According to the independent research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, 93 per cent of all organisations that have adopted cloud services calculated the predicted ROI for adopting cloud services, largely against cost-savings made by the IT department. The research found that only around half of respondents were calculating the wider benefits to the business, such as better business performance (55 per cent) and improved employee productivity (49 per cent), when examining the ROI for cloud adoption.

Claranet’s UK Managing Director, Michel Robert, said that the cloud industry needed to ensure that it can clearly demonstrate the wider benefits of cloud services to help support the case for adoption within end-user organisations.

“It is very encouraging that so many organisations are making efforts to predict and to quantify the benefits of cloud adoption, but our research shows that there is significant scope for refining and improving these calculations,” said Robert.

The fact that 73 per cent of respondents say that cost-based ROI is only one consideration in the decision to adopt cloud services shows that organisations recognise that there are other important benefits to consider. Despite this, many are still not calculating the ROI of factors such as business efficiency, operational flexibility and staff productivity. These areas can all potentially be measured, and the challenge for the industry in 2013 is to help end-users understand these wider benefits, and to help them evaluate them in building their case for adopting cloud services, as well as to measure their ROI post-migration.

Robert is presenting the findings of the research at Cloud Expo, where he will be giving a keynote presentation on the ROI for adopting the cloud. Claranet customer Channel 5 will also be taking part in the presentation, which takes place in the keynote theatre at 3pm on Wednesday 30th January.

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