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Study Shows Companies Struggle To Calculate Cloud ROI

A survey released Monday shows that while more and more businesses are embracing cloud computing, they are having a difficult time determining what the return on investment (ROI) in a cloud project actually is. The study by a vendor-neutral organization called The Open Group also finds that most of those surveyed have no idea how cloud computing may impact their business processes.

The Open Group surveyed 307 cloud IT specialists at global organizations, ranging in size from 200 to more than 5,000 employees, who were asked about their cloud computing strategies between February and March of this year. The survey revealed that only 8 percent of respondents have no plans to engage in cloud computing while 43 percent are researching it, 24 percent have been in the cloud for less than 12 months and 25 percent for less than 18 months.

The vast majority are using private or hybrid cloud platforms with only 17 percent using public clouds. But only 35 percent of respondents that have adopted cloud computing have a way to measure cloud ROI, while 45 percent do not and 20 percent aren't sure.

Also, while 82 percent of respondents said they believe cloud will "significantly impact one or more business processes," 72 percent said they are not prepared for what those impacts might be.

"Cloud computing is primarily a technical phenomenon, but it has the ability to transform business," wrote Chris Harding, director for interoperability and SOA at The Open Group, in a blog post accompanying the release of the report. He concludes that most IT professionals are looking at the cloud "through a glass darkly."

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