by Mark Chillingworth

Cloud computing is all the rage according to surveys, but not so in the real world of the CIO

May 17, 2010
IT Strategy

Survey after survey indicates that cloud computingis the big thing on every CIOs minds. Clouds are of course at present one of the main topics of conversation, whether it’s ash clouds bringing airlinesto a halt or the fluffy lamb kind we are enjoying during the current lovely spring. If the surveys are accurate then you’d be forgiven for thinking that every CIO across the land is pushing his team to shift applications and IT services into the cloud. Yet when you get a moment with a CIO they all seem to express the same sentiment, it’s an interesting concept, the business case is beginning to stack up and they see it may offer advantages to their organisation. Yet when asked if they are deploying cloud based technologies, the answer is “not yet”. We at CIO found it difficult to get many CIOs to discuss cloud computingfor our Debate channel. However, there is always a flipside to every argument, and the government seems ripe for cloud computing. At the launch of the Harvey Nash CIO Survey 2010 last week I discussed government IT with one of the foremost thinkers of public sector IT for the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition governmentand he assures me that the new administration sees as much, possibly more, of a future for cloud computing in the public sector. So back to my original thesis, the survey says yes, but the CIOs are not taking off for the cloud. Perhaps time pressed CIOs are responding in the positive towards cloud computing because they have thought about it and do have some plans, if not budget and team to launch cloud computing. I doubt CIOs respond positively towards cloud computing purely to appear like they are at the cutting edge and in with the pioneers. CIOs, especially in the UK are too busy minded and strategic for that. Perhaps there are just too many surveys. It seems every vendor, PR firm and market agency has some “new and ground breaking research on cloud computing and thought leaders views on it”, and careful investigation of many a survey reveals fewer respondents than is credible. In truth it is always best to rely on the case studies.