There’s no doubt that cloud computing is rapidly becoming mainstream, with a majority of companies now either using of investigating cloud solutions.

This is one of the findings from a global AMD research study on adoption, attitudes and approaches to cloud computing, which surveyed IT decision-makers in public and private sector organisations across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The findings reveal both global and regional trends in cloud computing adoption and usage, highlighting the importance of both infrastructure and workloads in considering a cloud computing model.
Findings of the survey include:
* Cloud computing is maturing rapidly, with 70% of respondents indicating they are either using or currently investigating cloud computing for remotely hosted applications or to store data.
* Of those organisations that have deployed cloud solutions, 60% reported that they are already seeing business value; and
* Among current cloud users, 92% stated that infrastructure was an important part of their decision to move to a cloud computing model.
“Based on the findings of this global study, AMD believes it is time for the industry to re-shape the way we think about cloud technology,” says Patrick Patla, GM and vice-president: server & embedded divisions at AMD. “The findings point to the fact that while the era of cloud computing has arrived, there are radically different attitudes, approaches, concerns and levels of maturity depending on business environment.
“As an industry, we must provide clear guidance about how to optimize hardware and software for all types of clouds, focusing on custom parts for specific workloads that are prevalent in the cloud and the appropriate balance of performance, power and cost efficiency they require.”
As cloud adoption continues to increase, so does the value of the data that lives in the cloud – and 63% percent of those using the cloud to host data estimated they store more than $250 000 worth of data in the cloud. By evaluating this survey field alone as a sample of the industry at large, it can be estimated that billions of dollars in active data currently lives in the cloud.
This new era of IT is being driven by the CIO, head of IT or IT director more than 50% of the time, placing a huge amount of importance on the technology at the core of the cloud. Ninety-two percent of respondents currently using the cloud stated that infrastructure was important in their decision to adopt cloud computing, dispelling the myth that cloud customers do not care to know about the physical servers housing and running their data. Global private sector respondents also identified the workloads they believe most suited potentially for cloud computing as email, finance/accounting and Web serving, in that order.
AMD also specifically examined public sector attitudes toward the cloud, revealing that local and federal mandates are having a significant impact in accelerating cloud adoption. In the US, public sector respondents felt government policies have accelerated a move to the cloud more than twice as many times as those who felt it has decelerated adoption, primarily citing the shift as a way to reduce costs. Nearly half of the worldwide public sector respondents indicated budget restrictions are driving a more rapid adoption of cloud solutions.
One key hurdle that still remains for the public sector to fully embrace cloud computing is having the necessary IT skills in-house to support the deployment of cloud solutions. Currently, 43% of public sector respondents did not feel they had the skills in place to support cloud versus only 23% in the private sector.
Highlights from the report include:
* The state of cloud deployments: Seventy-four percent of US organisations are using or investigating cloud solutions, followed by 68% in Asia and 58% in Europe.
* Trust in the cloud: Nearly one in 10 organisations in the US estimate they store more than $10-million worth of data in the cloud. However, 63% of global respondents still view security as one of the greatest risks associated with the model.
* Understanding and preparation for the cloud: For those currently using the cloud, 75% had the necessary IT skills to implement the solution versus only 39% of those who are currently investigating cloud today.
* Cloud clients: Cloud users are able to access their services primarily via a PC (90%), followed by smartphone (56%), tablet (37%) and thin client (32%).