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In this analysis, Stratecast examines the perceptions of today’s cloud adopters and non-adopters, as revealed through the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Cloud User Survey. Understanding the perceptions will help cloud service providers hone their services and marketing messages to encourage growth among those already in the cloud camp, and make smart decisions about whether the remaining 20% of US businesses represent an attractive market opportunity.

Executive Summary
With cloud adoption finally reaching a tipping point, the chasm between adopters and non-adopters is growing. Just a year ago, adopters (and non-adopters) were fairly evenly represented across company sizes. The two groups differed somewhat in their perceptions, but less than one might imagine. In general, the perception differences appeared to reflect thoughtful decision-processes, as each business determined how and when to best utilize the cloud in its own company.

Today, based on analysis from the 2014 Frost & Sullivan cloud user survey, a different picture emerges. As a group, non-adopters are significantly smaller in size, less willing or able to spend on technology, and more entrenched in traditional organizational structures and roles than cloud adopters.

In many cases (with a few surprises) they also have hardened their stance against cloud adoption. Like grumpy old men, they distrust claims about cloud, and are also unwilling to try other new data center technologies and models. Because of their consistent objections, we have decided to call this group “resistors” rather than the more commonly used “laggards.”

For their part, cloud adopters (a group in which we include both current users and those who plan to adopt cloud services in the next two years) increasingly perceive the cloud as more than a tactical response to short-term needs. Instead, they are more likely to see themselves in a strategic business role, leading their companies into a technology-fueled future, with the cloud as one of the tools they will draw on to achieve their vision. For most cloud service providers, future growth will depend on their ability to recognize and anticipate the needs of this group, beyond leased computing and storage capacity.

Where cloud adopters and resistors agree is in their concerns about cloud risks, including unauthorized access, data breaches, compliance, and service disruptions. Continuing a trend recognized by Stratecast over the past few years, cloud adopters ascribe an even higher level of risk to certain cloud attributes than resistors. This should be a warning to cloud service providers who assume they have overcome their customers’ objections, and that additional workloads will be forthcoming.

In this analysis, Stratecast examines the perceptions of today’s cloud adopters and non-adopters, as revealed through the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Cloud User Survey. Understanding the perceptions will help cloud service providers hone their services and marketing messages to encourage growth among those already in the cloud camp, and make smart decisions about whether the remaining % of US businesses represent an attractive market opportunity.

Table Of Contents

Cloud Perceptions: Like Grumpy Old Men, Non-Adopters Harden Their Stance Against Cloud
Table of Contents
Executive Summary . 4
Introduction .. 5
About the 2014 Frost and Sullivan Cloud User Survey . 5
Size Matters in Cloud Adoption . 6
IT Paragons versus Grumpy Old Men .. 8
Resistors Resist Adopting Other Data Center Modernization Technologies . 9
Strategic Vision and Tactical Benefits of Cloud .. 10
Meeting of the Minds: Cloud Concerns . 12
The Last Word .. 14

List of Exhibits

Exhibit 1: Defining Cloud Adopters and Resistors, Based on Familiarity and Usage . 6
Exhibit 2: Cloud Adopters and Resistors by Company Size, Budget, and Industry . 7
Exhibit 3: Business Technology Adoption, Cloud Adopters versus Resistors . 8
Exhibit 4: Adoption of Other IT Delivery Models, Resistors versus Adopters 9
Exhibit 5: Company “Vision” for the Cloud 10
Exhibit 6: Respondents that “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” with Statements about Strategic Benefits 11
Exhibit 7: Respondents that “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” with Statements about Tactical Benefits 11
Exhibit 8: Respondents that “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” With Statements about Cloud Concerns . 12
Exhibit 9: Respondents Rating Cloud Security Issues as “High Risk” 13

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