A survey by IDG Connect, sponsored by Dell, asked European IT “decision makers” in organisations with 500 or more employees about their migration plans. The survey took place at the end of 2012 and in early 2013.
Here are the cloud migration plans for email:
- Migrate email to Office 365: 13%
- Migrate email to Google Apps: 8%
Unfortunately the survey does not cover other cloud providers for email.
What about usage of cloud servers?
- Plan to use Amazon virtual servers: 2%
- Plan to use Microsoft Azure virtual servers: 1%
- Plan to use other cloud providers for virtual servers: 9%
- No plans to use cloud servers: 88%
Surveys are (very) imperfect, and plans can change. Nevertheless, these figures suggest that migration to the cloud remains in an early phase.
A couple of further observations. One is that while the benefits of cloud computing are real – including multi-tenancy, scalability, lower maintenance cost, and arguably better security and resiliency – there are also downsides, in particular loss of control, and vulnerability to interference by outside agencies.
Costs might or might not be lower. There is sometimes an assumption that lower maintenance costs and greater elasticity must mean lower cost overall, but it does not always stack up that way.
On the other hand, I also wonder whether IT administrators protecting their internal organisations is a factor. If you ask an IT admin to assess the benefit of outsourcing a chunk of his work, will you get an objective result? Maybe not.
You can see the whole survey (which also has some eye-opening statistics about usage of Windows XP) here (registration required).