IDC Manufacturing Insights recently conducted a survey across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with the goal of understanding current perceptions, uptake, and investment plans related to cloud computing. Across core CEE industries, manufacturing showed the greatest maturity in cloud adoption and future investment plans, with 44% of respondents confirming some part of their IT budgets dedicated to cloud and 40% of manufacturers indicating their cloud budgets will increase over the next three years.
No one-size-fits-all approach exists for cloud computing among manufacturers. The sooner manufacturers and IT vendors understand this, the sooner far greater strides will be made in accepting and embracing cloud computing. Manufacturers in CEE are beginning to understand this, as reflected in their optimistic, yet still cautious, approach to cloud computing for a variety of applications. CEE Manufactures have concentrated over the last 12-18 months on non-business-critical processes in their initial adoption of cloud computing - private cloud in the vast majority of cases. We are now beginning to see examples of business-critical processes moving into the cloud, and positive feedback is already filtering back into businesses and the market in general.
Here are some other key findings:
- Top business issues that cloud is expected to resolve outside of IT include those related to operational performance, sales and marketing, and customer relationship management.
- Line-of-business application investments utilizing cloud-based deployments are driven by supply-chain activities and applications that support collaboration initiatives.
- Ease of deployment and expected savings from moving CAPEX to OPEX are key drivers of current investments into cloud technologies, and they will continue to be so in future.
- Demand planning and forecasting and supply chain planning rank highly as potential cloud-based applications.
The market for cloud computing among CEE manufacturers is beginning to heat up. Whether this proves to be a mere fad or the start of an inexorable shift has yet to be seen. By far the biggest inhibitor is security. Security, though, is merely a perceived risk associated with the cloud. Unfortunately, some high-profile security breaches relating to cloud computing have been highly publicized in the media, often distorting the reality of the situation. More often than not, cloud providers are actually more secure than your own in-house security.
Despite these publicized breaches, the current instability in the global economic environment will only boost the cloud's long-term outlook. With CEE manufacturers increasingly looking for cost savings, efficiency, and flexibility and these aspects all falling into the top drivers of cloud adoption, cloud should indeed have a bright future.
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